KSSZ "Cape" in Special Operation: proven benefits and mass production

KSSZ "Cape" in Special Operation: proven benefits and mass production
T-90M tank with KSZ "Nakidka" during battles in the Kharkov direction, April 2022. Photo of the Russian Guard

During the current Special Operation to protect Donbass, not only weapons and equipment, but also auxiliary equipment are tested by practice. Thus, almost from the very beginning, armored vehicles equipped with “Cape” visibility reduction systems have been participating in hostilities. Based on the results of combat use, such systems were recommended for full deployment among the troops.

Threat Protection

The first reliable information about the appearance of the “Cape” visibility reduction system at the front dates back to the end of February 2022. Then the press service of the Russian Guard published a video about the battle that took place in the Kharkov direction. Along with other interesting objects, the Russian T-90M tank was captured in the frame, the outer surface of which was covered with characteristic flexible elements. They could easily be recognized as the KSSZ “Cape”, developed at the Steel Research Institute and regularly demonstrated earlier.

Subsequently, others regularly appeared in official materials of the Ministry of Defense and on specialized resources. Tanks with "Cape". Almost always, the visibility reduction complex was used together with the Ternovnik camouflage network, which ensured a reduction in visibility in several ranges at once, including visible.

Published materials allowed us to conclude that there was a gradual increase in the number of “Capes” and “Thorns” in tank units. However, tanks with KSSZ were inferior in number to vehicles without it. In addition, other types of armored vehicles did not receive similar protection from detection.

Upgraded T-80BVM tank with "Cape", anti-drone visor and other additional equipment at Army-2023. Photo Vitalykuzmin.net

However, the defense department monitors the use of equipment and auxiliary equipment, systematizes experience and draws conclusions. Based on the results of hostilities in 2022-23. decided on the need for full-scale implementation of the “Cape” in its modern version.

Wide use

At the end of June 2023, the press service of the Rostec state corporation, which includes the Steel Research Institute, announced the start of serial production of the Cape KSZZ. By the time this news The first batches of kits were transferred to the relevant defense enterprises for installation on army equipment. It was also noted that surveillance protection kits are becoming a mandatory element of equipment for domestic combat vehicles.

In August, the military-technical forum “Army-2023” took place in the Patriot Park near Moscow. In the open parking lot of the exhibition, enterprises from Rostec demonstrated a number of options for using the Cape KSSZ. Using the example of full-scale samples, they showed the installation of “Cape” and “Thorn” on T-72B3M, T-80BVM and T-90M tanks. The BMP-2 and BMP-3 exhibition infantry fighting vehicles received similar protection.

The equipment was also equipped with other means of additional protection. It was equipped with lattice screens, visors against missiles and UAVs, as well as jamming stations of several types. Such an integrated approach to the protection of armored vehicles should increase their survivability and stability on the battlefield.

Additional protection for the T-80BVM turret. Photo "Rostec"

Shortly after Army 2023, last fall, reports appeared about the supply of new, modernized and repaired armored vehicles with “Capes” to the armed forces. In addition, it became known that the troops are receiving KSSZ for independent installation on existing equipment. Such measures contribute to the speedy equipping of the maximum number of combat vehicles.

In mid-April 2024, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited one of the defense enterprises in the Omsk region and checked the implementation of the state defense order. The management of the enterprise reported to the minister on the fulfillment of his instructions regarding increasing the level of security of armored vehicles already at the production level. So, now T-80BVM tanks receive a visor over the turret and a “Cape” complex with a “Ternovnik” network right at the factory.

On May 7, the Rostec state corporation announced the dispatch of the next batch of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles to the troops. The equipment was prepared and delivered to the customer ahead of schedule. The armored vehicles have an updated configuration, designed taking into account combat use in the Special Operations area. Particular attention was paid to issues of protection.

Thus, the BMP-3 received standard sets of anti-cumulative protection for the frontal, side and top projection. In addition, the vehicles are fully equipped with the "Nakidka" SSZ. Apparently, this is the first batch of BMP-3, serially equipped at the factory with means of reducing visibility. Previously, there were no reports of such a production update, although the BMP-3 with the “Cape” had already been unofficially featured.

BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicle with KSSZ and camouflage net, "Army-2023". Photo Vitalykuzmin.net

Bottom line

Thus, tanks with the “Cape” and “Thorn” sets were present in the Special Operation zone from February-March 2022. However, for objective reasons, their number was limited. However, in the future, the number of KSZZ and new camouflage nets in units gradually grew, as did the number of tanks equipped with them.

No later than the summer-autumn of last year, the number of tanks with “Capes” should have increased significantly. By this time, the industry began full-scale serial production of kits and supplies to both related enterprises and combat units to equip existing, modernized or under construction equipment. Probably, due to the increase in production volumes, all or almost all tanks coming from factories are now equipped with visibility reduction kits.

Until recently, only tanks received the "Cape" and "Thorn". However, the Steel Research Institute has repeatedly demonstrated the possibility of using KSSS on other types of equipment. By now, the Ministry of Defense has decided to use this opportunity, and now the industry is shipping infantry fighting vehicles with additional protection kits. However, for now the number of infantry fighting vehicles with the Cape should be inferior to the number of tanks with similar equipment.

The practical significance and benefits of the new KSSZ and other means of camouflage are quite clear. Thus, the “Thorn” kit provides camouflage from visual observation, incl. using optical means, and the “Cape” protects from detection by thermal imaging and radar stations. Using these two kits together or separately dramatically reduces the enemy’s chances of noticing a combat vehicle, escorting it, and successfully attacking it.

BMP-3 with attachments to reduce visibility. Photo Telegram / "Callsign "Katzman"

The composition and principle of action of the “Cape” are well known. Essentially, this is a set of specially shaped covers for attaching to an armored vehicle. Each such device has a multilayer structure made of several materials. The outer layer provides visual camouflage by blurring the silhouette and color matching the terrain. The internal ones, in turn, are responsible for scattering electromagnetic waves from enemy radars and for retaining infrared radiation recorded by thermal imagers. According to the development organization, the probability of detecting an armored object by a radar is reduced by three times. The probability of being captured by an IR device or seeker drops by 2-3 times.

In the context of current hostilities, the "Cape" becomes a response to a variety of surveillance equipment and weapons transferred to Ukrainian formations by their foreign patrons. Thus, the enemy has compact ground reconnaissance radars that can detect tanks and other large targets. The use of the "Cape" will not allow him to detect our combat vehicles in time and provide accurate target designation to fire weapons.

The use of anti-tank grenade launchers and missile systems equipped with day and night sights is seriously hampered. In the first case, camouflage will interfere with tracking and guidance; in the second, the internal shielding layer will interfere. At the same time, the KSSZ “Cape” can counter even advanced and well-advertised weapon systems like the well-known FGM-148.

Clear benefit

During the current hostilities, the Russian army not only defends national interests and protects the country’s borders, but also checks a variety of materiel. Various combat vehicles, weapons and auxiliary equipment are tested in real battles. All these products receive an objective assessment, on the basis of which further plans are drawn up.

During the Special Operation, a number of modern and promising models showed their best side, and appropriate decisions were made. Among the successful and useful developments was the Cape visibility reduction system, suitable for use on a wide range of armored combat vehicles. It was put into full-scale mass production, in several modifications, and began to be used on a full scale by the troops. The positive consequences of these measures are already quite clear.
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  1. -2
    15 May 2024 06: 14

    However, the defense department monitors the use of equipment and auxiliary equipment, systematizes experience and draws conclusions.

    Well, yes, but at the same time no.
  2. -3
    15 May 2024 07: 20
    Why was this not paid attention to at all before? If you look at the reports of the same Germans, all the tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are wrapped in such rags. As usual, we have only an exhibition sample. We needed this whole shake-up, to shake up this whole swamp so that improvements could begin. This is the lives of people, it seems that it has begun to reach the highest
    1. +1
      15 May 2024 09: 58
      What rags? If you are talking about camouflage for the MCS Barracuda equipment, then it helps to hide the equipment in the optical and infrared spectrum, although Saab claims that it also protects against radar detection, there is no confirmation of this. By the way, one CV90 infantry fighting vehicle came to us as a trophy just in Barracuda, I think our specialists from the Steel Research Institute will figure out what it is.
      1. -1
        15 May 2024 10: 10
        It's about them! But we haven’t really bitten yet, we’re not itching
        1. +2
          15 May 2024 11: 38
          the probability of detecting an armored object by radar is reduced by three times.
          Well, of course, but look at the grill on the tank, in the photo in the article, it’s a corner reflector that increases radar visibility by 10 times.
    2. 0
      15 May 2024 14: 47
      Quote: Vadim S
      If you look at the reports of the same Germans, all the tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are wrapped in such rags.

      Well, in three words: all 500 pieces.

      Germany has tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, just many times fewer, and the budget per unit of equipment is larger.

      There are other reasons, of course. But in my opinion, I indicated the main ones above.
  3. +1
    15 May 2024 10: 44
    I watched new videos on YouTube this week Alfa17, FPV drones hit 3 brand new T-90M Breakthrough into the engine room
    There is an urgent need to install additional armor plates and Relikt remote sensing protection on top of the engine room
    and add a bevel from the Relikt DZ to the stern where the Relikt DZ is already installed only to overlap the 2nd air filter flaps
    as an option, add anti-cumulative grilles
    1. 0
      15 May 2024 11: 54
      Locally they have already taken radical measures. belay
      1. 0
        15 May 2024 12: 06
        T-90M Proryv is perfectly protected except for the protection of the engine room
        you need to add DZ Relic and, as an option, cover it on top with DZ Frame
        and of course add DZ Relikt along the entire length above the fenders
        + add permanent track mine trawl KMT-7
        so modernization of the T-90M has room to go
  4. 0
    15 May 2024 15: 37
    An idea just arrived: you can imagine a hypertrophied grass trimmer(s), but over the vulnerable areas of the tank (machine maintenance, roof...)
    do you need to chew it?
    - light weight
    - unhindered evacuation (after shutdown)
    What do you think?
    1. 0
      16 May 2024 23: 57
      I had the same thought too)))))
  5. 0
    16 May 2024 13: 56
    Any war gives impetus to the development of technology and related means. What a man can think of to destroy his own kind. And there is no escape from this. This is the development of civilization. Just a little over 100 years ago the tank appeared, a big box on tracks, and what it has become today!
  6. 0
    16 May 2024 17: 01
    Everything will work if both capes and KAZ or other developments against drones are optimally combined on armored vehicles. And work comprehensively against ANY PTS. This is what the Moscow Region should do. Look for everything that is being done here and separate the best and most promising ones over the hill and introduce them into mass production and not monitor, but lead, from the task to the developers to implementation in mass production.