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UK intel: Helicopters landing on painted fighter silhouettes expose flaws in Russia’s decoy strategy

Russia paints decoy fighter jets at air bases, but helicopters landing on fakes undermine deception, revealing true aircraft numbers, per UK intelligence.
UK intel: Helicopters landing on painted fighter silhouettes expose flaws in Russia’s decoy strategy

The UK Defense Ministry reports Russia’s use of decoy aircraft at airbases to counter Ukrainian strikes, a tactic undermined by helicopters landing on the decoys, revealing the true military strength at these locations.

At Kirovskoe Airfield in occupied Crimea, decoy Russian fighter aircraft have been painted on the concrete. This tactic has also been observed across at least 12 more Russian airbases, indicating a widespread effort to obfuscate Ukrainian targeting efforts. The painted decoys are meant to simulate real aircraft from a distance, potentially confusing Ukrainian intelligence and strike planning.

UK Defense Ministry wrote:

  • It is likely that as a result of continued successful Ukrainian strikes on military locations, Russia has been forced to implement a number of decoy and deception techniques in an attempt to obfuscate Ukrainian targeting efforts.
  • At Kirovskoe Airfield on occupied Crimea there are decoy Russian fighter aircraft painted on the concrete. Such paintings have also been observed across at least 12 more Russian air bases, demonstrating the extent of Russian concern of future Ukrainian strikes and their ability to repel them.
  • However, Russian helicopters still regularly land on the painted decoy fighter silhouettes, completely undermining the deception attempt. This also reveals the true order of battle or aircraft strength at these airbases, which Russia is likely trying to mask from Ukraine’s intelligence picture.

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