They were created with the sole purpose of being destroyed as as quickly as possible. In this, as the steel company behind them boasts, these decoys are extremely successful. Hundreds of dummy targets were targeted almost immediately after their deployment, CNN writes.
Ukrainian D-20 howitzers, American M777 howitzers, mortar barrels, air defense radars. The list can be continued. If something from new technology is deployed and started working in Ukraine, there is a possibility that “Metinvest” either he has already copied it, or he is in the process of doing so inside a small hangar, which is hidden on the edge of a huge industrial site in central Ukraine. There you will find an impressive number of copies of the latest American and European murder technologies.
Before the war, the company was the largest metallurgical group in Ukraine, but was not engaged in the production of weapons, its representative said. In fact, it still does not do this, since its only foray into the world of weapons is a side line of fake targets, surprisingly realistic, but equipped with neither the range of fire nor the huge price.
Target, according to representative, two-fold – to save the lives of Ukrainians and trick the Russians into spending their own expensive drones, shells and missiles.
The idea is that the decoys should look attack-worthy from the sky without spending too much money. This meant finding a balance in the choice of materials, supplementing cheap plywood that does not provide the necessary heat signature to fool Russian radars and thermally guided drones, with enough metal to fool them.
“War is expensive, and we need the Russians to spend money on using drones and missiles to destroy our false targets. After all, drones and missiles are expensive. Our models are much cheaper,” explains the representative of “Metinvest”.
Take, for example, the 155-mm howitzer M777. The real thing costs several million dollars. Making a copy of it from “Metinvest” costs less than $1000 and does not include anything more unusual than old sewer pipes. But that's the whole point, destruction with the help of a drone costs the Russian forces as much as actual destruction.
“After each hit, the military gives us trophy debris. We collect them. If our bait was destroyed, it means that we worked not in vain”, – explains the representative of the company.
According to him, initially the baits were quite rough. When the war began, the company's employees rushed to make copies to send to the front line, so that Ukraine looked better armed than it actually was. But as the war dragged on, and the weapons arriving in the country became more and more sophisticated, so did the lures from “Metinvest”.
The real test now, and the measure of success of each lure, is how long they stay in sight. If one of the dummies is kept too long, the company's designers go back to the drawing board. As a result, the catalog of fake weapons of the company becomes impressively long and diverse.
"We do not count the number of manufactured false targets, but the number of destroyed ones. This is the main thing for us. “The sooner our traps are destroyed, the better for us”, – says the interlocutor of the agency.
At the moment, according to him, many hundreds have been destroyed, and the company is trying with all its might to meet the needs of the army. He shows us photos of decoys in the field at different stages of their short lives, until, finally, he came across a photo of which he is especially proud.
It shows a stuffed animal hanging from a tree somewhere in Ukraine Life-size portrait of Vladimir Putin. This is also the work of his people, he says with satisfaction.
Prepared by: Nina Petrovych