Recently Ukrainian bloggers have published videos, where Russians have placed the car tires on the wings of they parked strategic bombers (Tu-95), most likely to provide some protection against drones (source, Twitter/X):

What you are looking at is a satellite image featuring a TU-95 strategic bomber covered with car tires. According to them, this should protect strategic bombers from drones

The post depicts this as a desperate action unlikely to work, but is it? Has this way of protection ever been tried, and if so, with which success?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you post the picture here as well? Not everybody has a Twitter account 👍 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Sep 4, 2023 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ This is not my Twitter post. I am not sure if I have rights to do this. Simply car tires lying on the side, on the upper surface of the wings of TU-95, single layer. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Sep 4, 2023 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


This sounds like an attempt at disruptive coloration.

The use of car tires likely has no significance beyond the fact that military bases tend to have a lot of tires in them which can be repurposed in a hurry.

Certainly camouflages have been used with some success many times. Probably camouflages that attempt to protect a strategic bomber from drones are untested in war, since this is the first war where drones attacked strategic bombers.

  • $\begingroup$ May at least confuse the neural network of the drone computer vision, if present. It is likely trained to recognize wings without tires. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Sep 4, 2023 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ @h22 do you know if the drones fly by themselves only, or if they are human-operated/supervised? If it's the latter, then the effects are much more limited. $\endgroup$
    – ROIMaison
    Sep 5, 2023 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ @ROIMaison most of the rockets likely do not need a remote pilot, so I do not think that a battle drone requires this kind of assistance by design. Fully autonomous flights are not allowed in civil environment, likely no one cares in the battlefield. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Sep 5, 2023 at 9:53

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