There has been much discussion about a possible attack against Iran by either the USA or the Israelis. This blog post examines a tricky way that Iran could lure American, Israeli or allied warplanes into attacking decoy targets that are useless pieces of equipment but which could be used to attract warplanes into a “kill zone” of defensive Iranian weaponry.
The first two links [1, 2] below, sent by reader Charles, reveal that Russia has an extensive array of inflatable decoys which, when inflated and deployed, look like the “real things” to attacking warplanes. According to the links below, Russia has ordered many of these inflatable decoys which look like tanks, armored missile systems, etc. According to one link, Russia claims that these decoys can “fool even thermal and infra-red imaging” systems.
The use of such decoys is not new. The Yugoslav/Serbs used decoys to trick NATO warplanes into thinking that they were destroying many tanks and armored vehicles during the Balkan Wars when, in fact, they hardly destroyed anything that was real. NATO warplanes blew up a lot of worthless decoys (see third link below from the BBC). Since Russia has given Iran a nuclear reactor and other military assistance, Israeli and NATO planners should assume that Iran has been given these same types of decoy targets by Russia to deploy throughout Iran to fool attacking Israeli or NATO warplanes.
If Russia has decoys which can fool even thermal-imaging or infra-red systems, what would work to distinguish between a decoy and the real thing? If I recall correctly, submarines at sea can be detected via magnetic anomaly detectors. Given that a real tank or armored vehicle contains a lot of metal, perhaps the magnetic anomaly detectors could be adapted to be used on warplanes to determine whether a ground target was a decoy or the real thing. Personally, I think that it can be assumed that many Iranian tanks and armored vehicles (and perhaps warplanes) which are parked in plain sight, are decoys. Like the Yugoslav/Serbs, I’ll bet the Iranians have their real armored vehicles well-hidden in concealed and defensible bunkers. Decoy tanks could even be equipped with propane tanks and several rounds of “dummy” ammo to yield a realistic explosion and the impression of ammo being “cooked off” whenever such a decoy was hit.
In the event war does occur between Iran and either the USA/NATO and/or the Israelis, I wanted readers of this blog to be aware of this very likely Iranian defensive tactic.
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