Upper metal structures, known as “rocket cages,” are now distinctive to Russian vehicles in Ukraine.
Introduction of “rocket cages” in Russian vehicles
Upper metal structures, known as “rocket cages,” are now distinctive to Russian vehicles in Ukraine. They were first observed before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2021.
These protection solutions against threats to armored vehicles have evolved throughout the conflict. The goal is to counter threats like drones and ammunition.
The Army-2023 exhibition reflects the growing interest in armored vehicles and Russia’s intention to commercialize these innovations internationally.
Details of the Army-2023 military-technical forum
The Army-2023 exhibition, launched on August 14 at the Kubinka Patriot Exhibition and Congress Center, will last for a week.
According to TASS, 1,500 Russian defense companies present their products. Self-protection solutions for armored vehicles are the main focus. The T-72, T-80 and T-90 tanks on display feature robust protective cages, including metal mesh and corrugated metal roofs.
Functionality and design of the cages
The cages could be designed to deflect drone-launched mortars or “kamikaze” drones. This matches V-shaped hulls used on anti-mine vehicles.
Variations on the cage design exist, including additional support tubes and strategically placed hanging mesh for drone protection.
Metal mesh began to appear on Russian armored vehicles at the end of 2021 in the face of threats such as Turkish TB2 drones and anti-tank guided missiles.
Evolution and adaptation of cages
With the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, the cages were used in TOS-1 rocket launchers and T-62 tanks. Russian armor took similar protective measures after suffering losses.
Recently, tanks combine cages with reactive explosive bricks (ERA) to offer protection against penetrating weapons.
The tanks also adopted camouflage imitating foliage. These, like the Nakidza, could hide the vehicles’ thermal signatures.
Armor Variants in Army-2023
At the exhibition, BMP-2 and BMP-3 vehicles displayed clapboard-type armor. A variant of the BMP converted into an ambulance has a single armored cage that protects against drones.
The presented BTR-82 8×8 vehicle has slat-type armor, protecting from all angles and facilitating the landing of troops.
Although the protections in Army-2023 may not surpass those in Ukraine before, lessons from the battlefield were incorporated into new countermeasures.
Future of drone cages
Cages have evolved from ad hoc additions to factory-built solutions for domestic and foreign markets, ready for mass production.
The expo seeks to export, and Russia values these partnerships and income, especially as it faces difficulties sourcing high-tech components.
Faced with global threats like stray munitions and kamikaze drones, Russian designs offer potential solutions for armies around the world.