Defence Security Asia
Informasi Pertahanan Anda

Russia’s Military Paints “Images” of Combat Aircraft at Its Airbase

In recent times, the Russian military has become increasingly active in painting images of fighter aircraft at several of its airbases to confuse the surveillance efforts of Ukrainian forces, which frequently target these bases using suicide drones and cruise missiles supplied by Western nations.

0 2,534

(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — To confuse the surveillance efforts of the Ukrainian side, the Russian military has been painting real images of MiG-31 “Foxhound” fighter aircraft on the runways of the Belbek airbase located in Crimea, Ukraine.

Even though Crimea is technically part of Ukraine, it has been occupied by the Russian military since 2014.

 Lately, the Russian military has become more active in painting fighter aircraft images at several of its airbases to mislead the Ukrainian forces, which often target them using kamikaze drones.

Satellite images shared by Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) analysts, such as @MT_Anderson, recently revealed that the Russian military has painted images of four high-altitude MiG-31 fighter aircraft at the Belbek airbase in Crimea.

 It is uncertain whether this action of painting fighter aircraft images to deceive espionage efforts by the enemy is genuinely effective.


Recently, Russia announced the deployment of four high-altitude MiG-31 fighter aircraft to the Belbek airbase.

Satellite images indicate that the Russian Air Force began placing these MiG-31 aircraft before October 15th.

The presence of MiG-31 aircraft raises concerns for Ukraine because these aircraft have the capability to carry hypersonic guided missiles called “Kinzhal,” which can reach speeds of Mach 10 after launch.

In addition to their hypersonic speed, “Kinzhal” missiles can be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads and have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers.

 The Ukrainian military is worried that MiG-31 aircraft, armed with hypersonic “Kinzhal” missiles, could be used to target storage facilities for cruise missiles such as “Storm Shadow,” “SCALP-EG,” and HIMARS, especially those equipped with tactical guided missiles like ATACMS.


Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that MiG-31 fighter aircraft would be armed with hypersonic “Kinzhal” missiles during patrols in the Black Sea.

While the deployment of MiG-31 aircraft with hypersonic “Kinzhal” capabilities is in Crimea, it may be a response to the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

In another unconventional move to protect its strategic bomber aircraft, the Tu-95 “Bear,” at Engels 2 Airbase in Saratov, Russia, from Ukrainian drone attacks, the Russian military has painted images of aircraft on the airbase’s runways.

These painted aircraft are likely intended as decoys to “mislead” Western satellites and the kamikaze drones used by the Ukrainian military.

However, military analysts are not sure whether this “out-of-the-box” approach will successfully deceive Western military forces, as satellites with high-resolution cameras can distinguish between real aircraft and paintings.


Russia’s deception tactics might only work against satellites with low-resolution cameras.

Engels Airbase in Russia has been a target for Ukrainian forces, who have launched several kamikaze drone attacks on the airbase.

This airbase not only houses Tu-95 bomber aircraft but is also home to Tu-160 and Tu-22 bomber aircraft that have launched hundreds of cruise missiles at targets within Ukraine.

In the past, this “out-of-the-box” approach saw the Russian military covering certain sections of its Tu-95 bomber aircraft at Engels-2 Airbase in the Saratov region with tires, as seen in satellite images.

Russia hoped that the tires placed on various parts of the aircraft could absorb the impact of drone explosions. — DSA



To advertise contact admin: