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US Sends Ukrainian VAMPIRE Rocket System To Fight Russian Drones

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  • The latest US aid package to Ukraine includes a portable VAMPIRE rocket system.
  • VAMPIRE kits can be used on pickup trucks, turning them into mobile weapon platforms.
  • “It’s an important capability,” said Stacey Pettyjohn of the Center for a New America Security.

The Ukrainian military could soon turn regular pickup trucks and other vehicles into mobile rocket launchers capable of taking out Russian drones, thanks to new items in the latest US weapons package for Ukraine. increase.

US arms maker L3Harris’ VAMPIRE kit is included in the $3 billion US aid package to Ukraine announced Wednesday by the Biden administration. The largest package to date also includes artillery and air defense support, among other systems.

According to the manufacturer, the Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) kit includes a “suitcase-style” laser-guided weapon system that can easily be stowed in the bed of a truck and set up by two people. crew of people. This weapon is effective at hitting both ground and air targets.

In Ukraine, the system is likely to serve as a countermeasure to unmanned aerial systems, Defense News reported Thursday, citing Undersecretary of Defense Colin Carr’s remarks at a press conference.

“The VAMPIRE system itself is an anti-UAS system,” Kahl told reporters this week. “It’s basically a dynamic system that uses small missiles to launch UAVs from the air.”

The VAMPIRE system can be installed in the bed of a pickup truck in two hours.

L3 Harris


The kit’s use, known as the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, reduces the time Ukrainian forces spend locking onto potential targets, making it highly maneuverable and rapidly deployable for the front lines. Add options.

L3Harris spokesman Paul Swiergosz told Insider that the company will receive a formal order from the US government “in the coming days” specifying the number of units to be shipped to Ukraine. The company expects to deliver the system within nine months.

“It’s an important feature,” Stacie Pettyjohn, a senior fellow and director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security, told Insider.

Until now, the United States has provided Stinger missiles that can be launched by a single person on the ground, but the supply is in short supply.

The VAMPIRE system is an upgrade of sorts. Its four-barrel rocket launcher allows the Ukrainian military to hit multiple targets without reloading, and the ability to mount the weapon on a vehicle allows operators to launch shoulder-launched missiles faster and wider than ground forces. A range can be covered.

Russia has used drones extensively since it invaded neighboring countries in February, using them for surveillance missions that would enable it to subsequently bombard Ukrainian forces. Ukraine has previously claimed that recovered Russian UAVs, including the Orlan-10 surveillance drone, contain Western technology despite global sanctions.

“It’s very modular and has the type of system that can be put on any type of vehicle, so it’s very maneuverable and if it can be used to shoot down these drones, the survivability of the Ukrainian military should be significantly improved,” Pettyjohn said.

Got a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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