The Ukrainian Navy’s press service recently released footage showcasing the combat effectiveness of their air defense units, marking the confirmed debut of a new Counter-Unmanned Air System (UAS) weapon system developed by L3Harris for Ukraine.
The video captured the moment when a Russian kamikaze drone, identified as the Shahed-136, was successfully shot down by an Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket launched from the Vampire weapon system.
The Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) system is a compact and palletized rocket-launching platform equipped with modern sensors and four-shot APKWS launchers designed for installation on flatbed trucks. Initially utilized by the U.S. Navy and Army for engaging air-to-ground targets, the VAMPIRE system introduces a laser-guided rocket capable of effectively countering unmanned aerial threats.
The L3Harris-made weapon can be mounted in two hours and operated by a single person. It can be equipped with missiles to hit ground or air targets including unmanned aircraft systems. The Vampire is part of a larger package in aid to Ukraine.
Footage of Ukrainian naval forces downing a Russian Shahed-131/136 attack drone over Odesa. pic.twitter.com/WzIh4wHN0l
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) February 11, 2024
The Vampire is a low-cost and easy-to-assemble weapon compared to other counter-drone measures, such as electronic warfare technologies or surface-to-air missile systems.
In December of last year, the United States completed the delivery of all 14 contracted complexes, reinforcing Ukraine’s defensive capabilities against aerial threats.