In a contraption reminiscent of the Mad Max franchise, a Russian “Akhmat” armored vehicle could be seen enclosed in a gigantic metal cage in what was presumably Russian troops’ latest improvisation to fend off kamikaze drones.

Videos of the contraption could be seen circulating on social media since at least Tuesday, April 23, where a Russian “Akhmat” vehicle with the pro-war “Z” emblems painted on was enclosed by metal cages on all sides, except for less than a meter of ground clearance that exposed the lower halves of its wheels.

This is not the first Russian attempt at improvising anti-drone measures. While they are likely effective against small first-person view (FPV) drones, they also come with significant tradeoffs in terms of mobility and crew safety.

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As shown in the video, the only way to enter and exit the vehicle is through the entrance at the back of the cage, which is essentially a death trap for its crews when something does go wrong, be it landmines or fires resulting from indirect strikes.

The highlighted area indicates what could be assumed to be the entrance to the vehicle through the metal enclosure. Photo: Twitter/666_mancer

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There are also mobility issues. The enclosure is likely to catch onto uneven surfaces, rendering it useless on paths other than flat, paved roads, defeating the off-road nature of the vehicle. Another tradeoff is the extra weight from the cage, which makes the vehicle less capable.

At present, Ukrainian troops’ preferred method of immobilization is minefields, where the front is heavily mined to deter Russian vehicle movements. The Akhmat armored vehicle provides some protection against mines but is not immune to them.

Assuming the minefields don’t work, then the next options are anti-tank missiles or rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) – according to Russian military sites, Akhmat’s armor can withstand heavy machine gun fire, but is unlikely to withstand rockets or missiles.

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Once the vehicle is immobilized, it can then be followed up with drones or artillery – neither Akhmat’s armor nor its new cage can protect against the latter.

In comes the artillery round, and out goes the Akhmat. 

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