The news of inflatable tanks in the Russian army sparked a heated discussion on the Internet. Basically, most of the discussions boiled down to caustic remarks about the "inflated" combat capability of the Russian army, completely ignoring the fact of their military use.
Reasons for the appearance of inflatable tanks
Studying the history of modern wars, we can conclude that the greatest losses in percentage terms are borne by the most seemingly protected - armored forces. In the battles of the Great Patriotic War, it was believed that a tank lives on the battlefield for an average of 15 minutes. In the realities of modern warfare, a tank is given 3 to 5 minutes of combat.
The survivability of a tank in an intense battle is determined mainly by the speed at which the ammunition is fired. This usually takes less than 10 minutes. After that, the tank turns into a well-protected, but unarmed target.
Today, given the high saturation of the infantry with anti-tank weapons, special anti-tank ammunition from aviation and helicopters specially designed for hunting tanks, even the most modern booking will allow a tank to win only 3-5 seconds.
In this situation, it was decided to go not only along the path of improving tank armor and active protection of the vehicle, but also along the path of developing false targets. In this capacity, inflatable models of tanks, aircraft and other combat vehicles were created. At the right time, they are delivered to the position and pumped with air using a powerful pump, becoming very similar to real technology.
Combat use of inflatable tanks
Since tanks are the main means of supporting the infantry on the battlefield, they are actively hunted. Tanks are most vulnerable during transportation, which is carried out by rail. During their transportation, tanks cannot stand up for themselves in any way and, in the event of a surprise attack, the army suffers heavy losses. Replacing part of the tanks on cargo platforms with their inflatable counterparts will allow some of the enemy fire to be pulled back on them, which will allow real armored vehicles to survive.
In addition, inflatable tanks have the ability to tow, which makes it possible to create entire tank formations, which, with proper misinformation of the enemy, will divert some of their forces to themselves.
The price of an inflatable tank is 450,000 rubles, the price of a homing anti-tank missile, guaranteed to destroy an armored target, is $ 65,000. Even if a false target is destroyed, the enemy loses economically.
Thus, the role of inflatable tanks in combat is purely passive. They are unarmed and unable to defend themselves or cover the soldiers. Their importance lies in the fact that by drawing off the fire of the enemy's anti-tank weapons, they are able to give a real tank time to take cover or make a few extra shots, which is very important in modern combat.