Israeli tanks mobilized outside Gaza have been adapted with overhead cages to protect against attack drones, a safety modification widely used in Ukraine that appears to be proliferating in a new conflict, analysis by The Washington Post shows.
Imagery from the coastal city of Ashkelon shows several tanks outfitted with metal canopies over their hatches.
The hardened protective screens, sometimes called “cope cages,” act as a barrier from aerial strikes, causing explosives to detonate before they can seriously damage the vehicles or harm their crew members.
The protective measure, some analysts say, appears to have been implemented by Israel’s military after Hamas, during its surprise attack Oct. 7, used armed commercial drones to target soldiers and armored vehicles.
Israeli leaders have signaled they are preparing to launch a ground offensive aimed at destroying the militant group, a campaign that experts in urban warfare have warned could cause immense suffering and, according to one former U.S. official, quickly become “a bloodbath for everybody.”
On the other hand, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spawned a modern war laboratory, with militaries around the world studying how equipment and doctrine are being tested in a large-scale conflict far removed from the counterinsurgency wars that the United States and its allies waged in Afghanistan and Iraq over much of the past quarter-century.
The Ukraine conflict has underscored, for instance, the perils of inadequate artillery production and the folly of using large, fixed command posts that can be readily targeted.
One of the most significant developments from that battlefield, though, stems from the widespread use of weaponized drones, which in turn has led to defensive adaptations in the form of nets, cages, and canopies.