The United States Navy is set to conclude the delivery of a new Counter-Unmanned Air System (UAS) weapon system developed by L3Harris to Ukraine this month, forming a crucial part of the Department of Defense’s aid package.
In response to urgent requirements for wartime support in Ukraine, the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office’s contingency operations team (PMA-242) initiated efforts to supply rocket-launching platforms known as Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) systems.
The VAMPIRE system, a compact and palletized rocket-launching platform, integrates a sensor ball and four-shot Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) launchers designed for mounting onto flatbed trucks. Traditionally employed by the U.S. Navy and Army against air-to-ground targets, the VAMPIRE system introduces a laser-guided rocket capable of effectively countering unmanned aerial threats.
Commander Kevin Raspet, PMA-242’s foreign military sales deputy program manager, emphasized the team’s rapid delivery of the first four systems within six months, achieved through an innovative contracting strategy and dedicated efforts to match the system’s swift development pace.
Robert Galan, the Contingency Operations Case Manager at PMA-242, highlighted the team’s focus on expediting delivery to the warfighter, leveraging diverse contracting authorities to streamline processes and ensure the construction and deployment of an operationally efficient system.
The upcoming delivery will include the first-ever APKWS featuring proximity fuze warheads, a pivotal technology enhancing the C-UAS mission capability by incorporating an RF sensor, enabling APKWS to target Group 2 and Group 3 UAVs.
Captain Alex Dutko, PMA-242’s program manager, noted the immediate impact of the weapon system in Ukraine’s ongoing wartime efforts, illustrating the rapid response and agility of the team in addressing urgent requirements.
With a commitment to supporting Ukraine’s ground forces, PMA-242 aims to deliver 14 VAMPIRE systems, empowering them to effectively target and neutralize UAVs while fortifying defenses against ground threats.