Russia spending scarce missiles on wooden decoy HIMARS Rocket launchers

Russia spending scarce missiles on wooden decoy HIMARS Rocket launchers. By Harrison Kass at 1945.

“Ukraine has fielded a fleet of fake High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, to trick Russia into firing its precious long-range missiles at worthless decoys,” Dan Parson wrote for The Drive. “Those decoys draw Russian attention and fire away from the 16 HIMARS systems currently on the frontlines in Ukraine.”

According to the Washington Post, the wooden HIMARS decoys have attracted as many as 10 Russian Kalibr missiles. As the Russians generally rely on unmanned systems to find and identify targets for their artillery, the wooden HIMARS have been particularly effective. …

The Ukrainian decoys are made out of wood but can be indistinguishable from an artillery battery through the lens of Russian drones, which transmit their locations to naval cruise-missile carriers in the Black Sea.

The Russians are eager to strike HIMARS systems because the HIMARS system has been so effective at destroying Russian targets. To the Russians, the HIMARS is “like a VIP target,” a Ukrainian official told the Washington Post. …

In Ukraine, Russia is claiming to have destroyed 44 Ukrainian HIMARS. The claims are likely hyperbolic propaganda, however, as the US has only confirmed the shipment of 16 HIMARS systems.