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Understanding Cope Cages: From Origins to Standardisation

Written by: Julien Potin

Edited by: Jake Gasson

Supervised by: Syuzanna Kirakosyan

Tank warfare remains a favourite among online aficionados due to the enduring cultural fascination with heavy armour. Events from the Russo-Ukrainian War, particularly the recent incident involving the apparent disabling of a Russian T-90M tank by two Ukrainian-operated US-supplied Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have reignited interest in armoured combat. The ongoing debate surrounding the effectiveness of various tank designs continues to resonate across social media platforms and official channels. However, the emergence of distinct netting structures above tank turrets and other armoured vehicles has garnered significant attention since their increased use in the Russo-Ukrainian War as well as the more recent Israeli-Hamas War (Parker et al., 2022; Axe, 2023). Considered a form of improvised cage armour, these humorously labelled ‘cope cages’ remain relatively prevalent despite increasing scepticism of their utility. This study provides an overview of these improvised armour structures, analysing their origin and current standardisation and assessing their perceived impact.