Russia’s army overhaul: “flying alligators” to replace “black sharks”

The Russian Air Force is to stop using the KA-50 attack helicopter, also known as the Black Shark.

Defense officials explain that the Soviet-designed chopper can only carry one pilot, who cannot fly and shoot at the same time.

From now on, the Russian Air Force will use a two-seater modification – the KA-52 Alligator. It was designed in 1996, and is safer and more efficient.

More than 100 Alligator helicopters have so far been ordered. The Ministry of Defense says it is switching to precision aircraft as these are the modern standard.

This is not the only measure taken to modernize Russia’s army. In July 2011, the Russian military announced that it is expanding the “ghost army” of fake tanks and jets with inflatable missile launchers to be used to fool enemy satellites and surveillance planes.

The new war machines are actually made of rubber. All fitted out to their natural size, they are aimed at distracting the enemy and protecting real combat units from strikes.

Even from a distance of only 100 meters, the fake military hardware looks exactly like the real thing, so it is effectively used on battlefield positions.

The decoys even omit the same amount of heat, so radars will identify them as true pieces of hardware. It means that the decoys can deceive not only enemy bombers and protect real hardware, but also fool satellites and secure strategic installations.

In addition, they are very light and easy to maneuver and replace. It takes just five minutes to assemble a full-scale S-300 missile launcher, and plastic and rubber models even faster.

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