Drone jamming devices on Russian T-90M, T-73B3 and T-80BVM in Ukraine?

Drone jamming has become, in Ukraine, both a tactical and strategic issue. Indeed, among the many technologies that have demonstrated their combat effectiveness in Ukraine, it is undoubtedly reconnaissance or attack drones, sometimes called lurking munitions, which have caused the most significant upheavals in the conduct of military operations.

Not only did these light reconnaissance drones desopacify the battlefield, making all deception and surprise maneuvers almost ineffective, but, in the form of lurking ammunition, they heavily hit armored vehicles, artillery systems and infrastructure of both camps.

In recent weeks, photos from Russia seem to show that this problem is taken seriously by the country's military and industrialists. These show, in fact, jamming systems intended to counter drones, mounted on the protective cages of new T-80BVM, T-72B3 and T-90M tanks.

The vulnerability of Russian and Western tanks to attack drones in Ukraine

Traditionally, it was accepted that the tank was the tank's worst enemy. However, many anticipated, until recently, that the effectiveness of modern anti-tank missiles would spell the end of the battle tank.

Russian tank drone attack
The neutralization of drones has become a major issue, both for the Russian and Ukrainian armies, along the line of engagement.

If anti-tank missiles have shown their combat effectiveness in Ukraine, they have however in no way called into question the need for the tank, which remains a unique compromise between protection, mobility and firepower, the only one capable of providing certain options in a war frozen by artillery, and by air power that was largely neutralized.

While the threat of missiles was admitted by the Russian and Ukrainian general staffs, neither one nor the other, and neither the Western supporters in Kyiv, had anticipated the crucial role that drones would play, in this conflict, both with regard to the clearing of the battlefield and their use to carry out strikes beyond the line of sight.

In this area, Russian tanks, like their Western counterparts, have shown significant vulnerability to attacks by this type of drone, in particular by the Russian Lancet, or by the American Switchblade used by the Ukrainians, destroying a large number of tanks which, most often, were even unaware that they were targeted.

Protective cages quickly installed on Russian tanks

A first response to this type of threat, as well as to the American Javelin anti-tank missiles which also strike the targeted armor from above, was provided by Russian engineers, only a few weeks after the start of the conflict.

Protective cage T-80
The protective cage appeared from April 2022 on Russian tanks and has since inspired several fighting armies, including the Ukrainian and Israeli armies.

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