Ukraine is developing replicas of high-powered Western weapons and equipment to trick Russia into wasting expensive assets targeting them.
Steel and mining company Metinvest told CNN that several copies of M777 155-millimeter howitzers are being produced from old sewer pipes for $1,000 each.
The goal is to get Moscow’s forces to fire at the decoys and waste drones, missiles, and artillery shells.
According to the report, hundreds of fake weapons have already been targeted by the Russian military.
‘A Psychological Weapon’
The idea of developing decoys reportedly came from three Metinvest senior managers, who saw that Kyiv was outgunned by Russia’s massive weaponry.
“We thought if the Russians saw a lot of weapons, they might be scared to move forward, or to shell an area,” a spokesperson told the outlet. “It’s a psychological weapon.”
The company further stated that it measures the success of its decoys by how long they remain intact after deployment.
The sooner the fake weapons are destroyed, the better for the Ukrainian military, according to the spokesperson.
Decoys that survive for too long are being redesigned to make them more believable, while the destroyed ones are being returned to Metinvest as war trophies.
Not the First Time
This is not the first time Ukraine has developed replicas to trick Russian forces.
In August last year, the war-torn nation used plywood to make fake rocket launchers while making sure that they still fool heat-seeking weapons.
It also created wooden replicas of US High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, to decoy Russia’s long-range cruise missiles.
In December, the US delivered a training tool that emits radio frequency signals imitating air-defense radar systems to confuse Russian pilots.