Russia Puts Anti-Drone Cages on its Submarines in Fear of Ukrainian...

Russia Puts Anti-Drone Cages on its Submarines in Fear of Ukrainian Drone Attacks

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Recent footage of two Russian submarines shows they began using anti-drone cages (also called “cope cages”), structures that gained prominence on Russian and Ukrainian tanks since the war between the countries began.

The submarine in question is the Delta-IV class nuclear ballistic submarine named Tula, which has a submerged displacement of around 15,500 tons and can be equipped with up to 16 R-29RMU Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missiles. According to The War Zone, this appears to be the first evidence of such structures being fitted to ocean-going Russian assets, although some speculate that this structure is just a type of sunshade.

The act of fitting an anti-drone cage to a submarine could indicate the growing risk of drones for many traditional war machines, including submarines.

Even stranger is that the Tula is reportedly currently thousands of miles from Ukraine, and while Ukraine has launched long-range drone kamikaze attacks into Russian territory, this distance would still be too big of a challenge for Ukraine’s drone capability.

Interesting Engineering explains that the open top of a surfaced submarine’s conning tower is a highly attractive target for a drone attack. Submarines often sail on the surface when entering and exiting ports or when passing through congested waterways, but being on the surface means they have limited maneuverability and don’t have close-in defenses to protect them against threats like drones.

This anti-drone structure could potentially prevent a first-person-view kamikaze drone from entering the submarine through its conning tower hatch, which is a popular and dangerous tactic. This type of structure is extremely popular with Russian and Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles meant as a defense against FPV and other types of weaponized commercial drones.

Experts conclude that while the actual utility of this structure on a submarine is still unknown, it shows that there are threats that will need to be addressed, potentially by other nations as well.