US Navy expects to complete delivery of VAMPIRE CUAS to Ukraine this month
The US Navy (USN) has said that it expects to deliver the last of the L3Harris Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) CUAS to Ukraine this month and the first-ever Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) with proximity fuze warheads for use with the system.
The system and warheads will be provided as part of a DoD aid package with the support of the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike programme office (PMA-242). The proximity fuze incorporates an RF sensor that enables APKWS to target Group 2 and Group 3 UAVs.
The USN and army have traditionally used APKWS against air-to-ground targets and with VAMPIRE, the laser-guided rocket can defend against uncrewed aerial threats.
Fourteen systems are being delivered by PMA 242 and the first four systems were delivered in the space of six months.
PMA 242 officials said the fast delivery of the system was done with the use of ‘innovative contracting strategies’ and ‘early reports indicate the weapon system is having an immediate impact in the ongoing Ukrainian wartime effort’.
The system has been described by the company as a ‘suitcase-type APKWS launcher and designator kit [which] provides a rapid solution for arming non-tactical vehicles and a variety of tactical vehicles, while integrating components to customer-specific specifications’.
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