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  4. Russia is covering armored vehicles with elaborate anti-drone 'cope cages.' Video shows them getting hit anyway.

Russia is covering armored vehicles with elaborate anti-drone 'cope cages.' Video shows them getting hit anyway.

Mia Jankowicz   

Russia is covering armored vehicles with elaborate anti-drone 'cope cages.' Video shows them getting hit anyway.
  • Footage shared by a Ukrainian battalion appears to show exploding drones striking Russian 'cope cages.'
  • Both Russia and Ukraine have used the cages as makeshift missile defenses on vehicles.

Video released by a Ukrainian battalion appears to show drones getting through increasingly complex "cope cages" installed on Russian armored fighting vehicles, to devastating effect.

In a video posted on Monday by the 8th Separate Mountain Assault Battalion — part of the famed "Edelweiss" brigade — heavily protected Russian vehicles are seen to be targeted and, it appears, destroyed by Ukrainian drones.

In the video, a drone approaches a Russian armored fighting vehicle topped with a tangled cage-like structure.

The drone hovers for a beat, before backing up to make what appears to be its suicidal — and devastating — last approach.

A similar scene plays out for a second time in the video, on a different vehicle, before a zoomed-out view reveals three smoking wrecks.

The battalion did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for more information, but the vehicles were stationary, suggesting they may have already been hit.

Russia and Ukraine have both been documented using what are somewhat sarcastically known as "cope cages" — makeshift frames or screens aimed at limiting the impact of missiles.

Versions of the defensive apparatus have also shown up in Israel's military following the October 7 Hamas terror attacks, Popular Mechanics reported.

As well as the complex, heavy structures seen in the latest video posted by Ukraine's military, other 'cope cages' have taken the form of box-like screen cages, seemingly aimed at stopping drones.

However, early versions were largely useless against the Javelins and NLAW anti-tank missiles that proved so decisive early in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, experts told BI's Alia Shoaib.

RAND historian and former tank commander Gian Gentile told BI's Jake Epstein last year that cages might offer more protection against some loitering munitions, like drones.

But as the recent video appears to demonstrate, this is by no means a given.

And any protection they offer is largely psychological, Gentile said. "It is a psychological thing that soldiers do in combat when they want to live," he said.

Meanwhile, having to operate a fighting vehicle with a cage is likely a "huge inconvenience," Gentile said, noting that they impede mobility and visibility.


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