Armies dedicate a large part of their activity to the training of their soldiers, and that implies familiarizing them with the weapons used by the enemy.
With regard to armored forces, this training seeks for the crews to know how to recognize the shapes of the vehicles used by the enemy on the battlefield, and for this, for many years, some armies have formed armored forces. simulated opposition or "aggressors" imitating their rivals' battle tanks, in Opposition Forces (OPFOR) missions during military maneuvers. We will see some examples below.
A wheeled vehicle posing as a Soviet BMP in an exercise by the US Army's 101st Airborne Division. From the clothing, the photo is possibly from the 1970s (source: Tank and AFV News).
The chassis of an American M-60 main battle tank fitted with a dummy turret imitating a Soviet T-55 or T-62 tank in 1976, for testing anti-tank weaponry at the Aberdeen Proving Ground , Maryland (source: U. S. Army Human Engineering Laboratory).
A Russian T-72 main battle tank characterized as a German Leopard 2. It must be recognized that they worked a lot (source: Tank and AFV News).
Another photo of a Russian T-72 disguised as a German Leopard 2. This costume is more cheesy and also puts the Balkenkreuz of the Wehrmacht of the Third Reich instead of the Iron Cross used by the German Army since the postwar period, something that smacks of propaganda more than anything else (source: Tank and AFV News).
An American M-1 Abrams tank posing as a Russian tank at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 1999. Russian tanks and that's it (source: Bryan Whalen).
Another M-1 Abrams simulating to be a Russian tank by simply adding two drums to its back.
A US Army M-109 self-propelled howitzer modified into a Soviet ZSU-23-4 Shilka anti-aircraft gun during an exercise at Fort Ord, California, in November 1977 (source: U.S. National Archives).
Another image of the M-109 posing as a ZSU-23-4 during an exercise at Fort Ord, California, in November 1977 (source: U.S. National Archives).
A US M-551 Sheridan main battle tank posing as a Soviet ZSU-23-4, in this case during an exercise at Fort Irwin, California, in March 1988 (source: U.S. National Archives).
A column of US M-551 Sheridan main battle tanks characterized as BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, T-72 tanks and Soviet ZSU-23-4 Shilka anti-aircraft guns on maneuvers at the National Center for Fort Irwin training, in the Mojave desert, California (source: National Archive Photo).
Sometimes knockoffs also include helicopters. An American Bell UH-1H Huey posing as a Soviet Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter (source: Sturgeon's House).
The German Army has also used dummy tanks in OPFOR missions. Here a Leopard 2A4 posing as a Russian T-80 (source: Tank Lovers Group).
Egypt has also made mock tanks. Here a Russian tank disguised as an Israeli Merkava (source: Tank and AFV News).
An American M-60 main battle tank disguised as a Russian 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer, and quite well done, by the way (source: Tank and AFV News).
A US M-551 Sheridan main battle tank posing as a Soviet tank at Fort Irwin, California, in March 1987 (source: U.S. National Archives).
A US Humvee disguised as a Russian T-72 main battle tank by Westefx employees and Idaho Army National Guard soldiers at the Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, in October 2019 (source: Zona Militar).
The Russians were also encouraged to simulate M-1 Abrams main battle tanks, and very well done, judging by the photo (source: Tank and AFV News).
An American Humvee posing as a Russian BRDM-2 armored car (source: Sturgeon's House).
The Israeli Army has also used Humvees for OPFOR missions, in this case simulating a Russian main battle tank (source: Tank and AFV News).
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