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Ukraine Will Receive All 14 Vampire Systems By the End of the Year - the US Navy

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Vampire system from L3Harris firing APKWS guided rockets / Photo credit: L3Harris
Vampire system from L3Harris firing APKWS guided rockets / Photo credit: L3Harris

The first Vampire anti-drone systems have been in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the summer of this year, without any additional announcements

In December, the US will deliver 14 Vampire anti-drone systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine ordered as part of military assistance.

This was announced by the press service of the US Naval Air Systems Command.

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Vampire system from L3Harris firing APKWS guided rockets, Defense Express
Vampire system from L3Harris firing APKWS guided rockets / Photo credit: L3Harris

These systems were designed to detect and intercept enemy drones, including the Shahed-136.

“We delivered the first four systems in only six months by leveraging an innovative contracting strategy and working diligently to keep pace with the system’s rapid development,” said Cmdr. Kevin Raspet, PMA-242 foreign military sales deputy program manager.

The Pentagon first announced that it would buy examples of VAMPIRE in August 2022.

The Vampire launch platform is unloaded from the aircraft, Defense Express
The Vampire launch platform is unloaded from the aircraft / Photo credit: US Navy

These systems were included in the US $1.3 billion military aid package announced on July 19, 2023. However, the number of systems planned for transfer was not specified at the time.

“Early reports indicate the weapon system is having an immediate impact in the ongoing Ukrainian wartime effort,” said Capt. Alex Dutko, PMA-242 program manager. “This activity is another example of our team responding to urgent requirements with unprecedented speed and agility.”

A pickup truck with the VAMPIRE system installed / L3Harris

The US Navy has also announced that the first APKWS missiles equipped with a contactless detonating device are to be delivered with the new Vampire batch.

"In coming weeks, the PMA-242 CO team also plans to deliver the first ever APKWS with proximity fuze warheads, a key enabling technology for the C-UAS mission, Galan said. The proximity fuze incorporates an RF sensor that enables APKWS to target Group 2 and Group 3 UAVs."

VAMPIRE is a compact, palletized rocket-launching platform that consists of a sensor ball and four-shot Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) launchers designed to mount to any truck with a flatbed. The U.S. Navy and Army have traditionally used APKWS against air-to-ground targets. With VAMPIRE, the laser-guided rocket can defend against unmanned aerial threats.

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