The US Navy will complete the delivery of a new counter-unmanned air system (UAS) weapon system to Ukraine this month as part of the Department of Defense aid package.
According to a US Navy statement:
“Last year, the contingency operations team for the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242) began working an urgent requirement to deliver rocket-launching platforms, known as Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) systems, to support wartime efforts in Ukraine. 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.”
“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.
PMA-242’s Contingency Operations Case Manager Robert Galan said the team had placed a heavy emphasis on speed to the warfighter and was able to explore several contracting authorities to streamline the process and focus on building and delivering an operationally effective system. 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.
“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.”
PMA-242 will deliver 14 VAMPIRE systems to Ukraine’s ground forces for targeting and neutralizing UAVs and defending against ground threats.
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(Image: A new rocket-launching platform, known as VAMPIRE, was shipped to Ukraine in June 2023 to support wartime efforts. 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. VAMPIRE allows the laser-guided rocket to defend against unmanned aerial threats. (U.S. Navy photo))