Some of the Israeli Merkava tanks have been spotted near the border with the Gaza Strip sporting improvised armor ‘cages’ on top of their turrets.
Israel reportedly moved to safeguard their armored vehicles from the growing threat of enemy FPV (First-Person View) drones by installing cage armor systems on their Merkava main battle tanks. This decision mirrors Russian tactics employed in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where they have added similar protection to their T-62 and T-90 tanks.
The adoption of the cage armor system is a response to the growing use of FPV drones as threats in contemporary warfare. These drones, equipped with live-feed cameras and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and self-made bombs, have emerged as a preferred method for state and non-state actors to employ in kamikaze-style attacks on armored vehicles during combat.
The cage armor is designed to thwart FPV drone threats. The physical cages act as a mesh-like barrier around the tank, deflecting and entangling incoming drones to prevent them from approaching their target. Simultaneously, electronic countermeasures disrupt the drones’ communication systems, rendering them ineffective.
The decision to implement this system is a testament to the evolving nature of modern warfare, where armored units are increasingly vulnerable to unmanned aerial threats. This tactic, originally observed with Russian forces in Ukraine, demonstrates the importance of adapting to new challenges on the battlefield.
Israel’s move to protect its Merkava tanks with cage armor not only showcases their commitment to safeguarding their military assets but also serves as a testament to the effectiveness of the system. It is expected that the implementation of this strategy will become more widespread among military forces worldwide, as FPV drone technology continues to advance and pose a significant threat to armored vehicles.