Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Chinese combat vehicles get ‘cope cage’ armor

Chinese ZBD-09 infantry fighting vehicles have been spotted with metal screens atop their turrets, reminiscent of those used by Russian and Ukrainian tanks.

These screens, designed as an additional layer of defense, are primarily intended to offer protection against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as suicide drones.

The emergence of these anti-drone measures underscores the evolving landscape of modern warfare, where countermeasures against aerial threats are becoming increasingly crucial.


The Russian military was the first to employ this kind of add-on armor, often derisively referred to as “cope cages,” on tanks and other armored vehicles. It has now become a fixture on both sides of the war in Ukraine, to provide extra protection against FPV drones.

Jesus Roman, a military observer, noted the presence of these anti-UAV screens during a recent military competition involving the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF).

While the exact origin of these screens remains undisclosed, they bear a resemblance to the “cope cages” seen on Russian tanks. However, they appear lighter and less robust, potentially optimized to deter lightweight FPV drones that could become entangled in the mesh.

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



Russia’s bizarre ‘turtle tank’ again appears in Ukraine

Russian military forces have once again deployed their experimental tank, dubbed the 'turtle tank,' in combat in Ukraine. The 'turtle tank' is a peculiar adaptation...