Inflatech, based in the northern Czech town of Decin, was founded eight years ago and now produces more than 30 inflatable replicas of military equipment designed to fool the enemy, including Hymars rocket launchers and Abrams tanks. “
A Czech company specializing in inflatable imitations of military equipment has become a hit in the market since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reported AFP.
Inflatech, based in the northern Czech town of Decin, was founded eight years ago and now produces more than 30 inflatable replicas of military equipment designed to fool the enemy, including Hymars rocket launchers and Abrams tanks. “.
Company bosses have refused to confirm reports that they are selling such inflatable imitations directly to Ukraine, saying the matter is a military secret. But today they admitted that their production has jumped 100 percent in the last 12 months.
“We sell our products to many governments around the world, not only in Europe, but also in other countries, in other regions,” Poven Kumaresan, the company’s sales director, told AFP.
He added that the company’s 30 or so employees produce between 30 and 40 inflatable replicas of weapons and combat equipment a month.
Among the production there are imitations of tanks, armored vehicles, even fighter jets. They are made of synthetic silk and are inflated with pumps. They weigh between 25 and 49 kilograms and require between two and four people to handle them.
According to Kumaresan, the company needs 72 hours to design a model if it has the exact blueprints of the original. It takes up to two weeks for the company to start the process from scratch, that is, without the available plans of the original.
It took 60 days to make and ship an inflatable replica of the Hymars rocket launcher system from the time the company’s customer placed the order.
Inflatech has so far deployed dozens of fake Hymars. Although its products are not weapons, they are also categorized as military material and must be approved by government authorities.
The Czech government announced last month that it had provided Ukraine with half a billion dollars in military aid since the Russian invasion began on February 24 last year.
Wojciech Freser, CEO of Inflatech, praises the company’s production and says the copies look like the originals. “If I don’t have binoculars and if I’m 150-200 meters away, I won’t be able to tell if it’s a real weapon or an imitation,” he says.
The motor used to inflate the imitations also emits heat that fools the enemy’s infrared sensors.
The head of Inflatech says the inflatable dummies cost between $10,000 and $100,000, far less than the rockets used to destroy them.
“If I force the enemy to destroy my product with something that is at least four times more expensive, but in practice it is as much as 20 times more expensive, then I win economically,” Fresser says.
The management of the company indicates that in the future it plans to develop mobile inflatable simulations.
At the beginning of its existence, Inflatech worked for the entertainment industry. Then she turned to toys and other inflatables, made to order by customers.
“We manufacture according to the specific needs of the customer, we are not an electronic store where you can choose a product,” Fresser says.
He says he expects his company to experience rapid growth in the next three years and that there are no limitations on product line or production. “Of course, I would have preferred to produce children’s toys. But above all we have to ensure a safe world,” says Fresser.