Russia is advising troops to weld cages onto their vehicles and tanks to protect from drone attacks.
New illustrations show soldiers how to attach cages onto various vehicles.
Both Russia and Ukraine have previously employed cages, but the strategy now seems to be official Russian doctrine.
Having issues protecting your tank from exploding drones? Russia's advice: Weld cages onto any and every vehicle.
New illustrations released from Russia's Ministry of Defense detail that exact strategy to their troops, indicating how each vehicle should be covered with cages to protect from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although both sides of the war have previously used crude cages to contend with drones, Russia is apparently resigning itself to these limited defenses for the foreseeable future in a sign of how dominant and dangerous attack drones have become.
On Monday, illustrations from the ministry's main armored directorate were released, showing various methods for protecting equipment from first-person view (FPV) drones rigged with explosives and other UAV threats. In many cases, the ministry's official advice is to weld various shapes and sizes of cages to vehicles. Some illustrations show cages on top of tank turrets, while others show cages surrounding the sides, front, and back of vehicles.
—Samuel Bendett (@sambendett) November 20, 2023
The illustrations suggest how troops should array cages to maximize protection from exploding drones, such as constructing a barrier on top of a tank turret in such an angle that a drone can't find a way through the cage.
These protective measures complicate a small drone's flight path, however, Ukraine has shown impressive skill at navigating its drones on the battlefield lately, flying into open tank hatches and locating troops hidden in vehicles. And drones with large payloads are likely to shatter the makeshift fencing.
The cages aren't total to allow troops to still exit their vehicles, allowing access points for drones to swarm and destroy.
Russia's strategy isn't new to the war. Both sides have built cages onto their tanks and vehicles to protect from UAVs, as cheap drones have become a dominating and threatening asset on the battlefield capable of taking out everything from troop positions to armored vehicles.
When videos and photos of netting-like cages on tanks first started appearing earlier this summer, it looked like a final gambit to protect against drones, anti-tank missiles, and artillery. And while they may protect some armor crews from death or injury, they also pose a major operational inconvenience, as a defense expert previously told Business Insider.
Looking at the Russian ministry's illustrations, some cage placements do raise questions about how the vehicles will function. A cage on a tank turret, for example, could complicate its ability to identify, locate, and target enemies with a tank's main gun. Another cage on an armored vehicle appears to block the view of a driver, making it hard for them to navigate on the battlefield.
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