In response to the Defense aid package, the U.S. Navy is delivering a new Counter-Unmanned Air System (C-UAS) to Ukraine this month, featuring innovative Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) Systems to bolster defenses in escalating wartime conditions.
The initiative, spearheaded by the contingency operations team for the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242), addresses the urgent requirement for rocket-launching platforms to support wartime efforts in Ukraine.
The compact and palletized rocket-launching platform, known as VAMPIRE, incorporates a sensor ball and four-shot Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) launchers designed to mount onto any flatbed truck. Traditionally employed by the U.S. Navy and Army against air-to-ground targets, the laser-guided APKWS, when integrated into the VAMPIRE system, extends its capability to defend against unmanned aerial threats.
Cmdr. Kevin Raspet, PMA-242 foreign military sales deputy program manager, emphasized the team's swift action in delivering the first four VAMPIRE systems within just six months, leveraging innovative contracting strategies and maintaining pace with the system's rapid development.
In the coming weeks, PMA-242 plans to deliver APKWS with proximity fuze warheads, a critical technology for the C-UAS mission. The proximity fuze incorporates an RF sensor enabling APKWS to target Group 2 and Group 3 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Capt. Alex Dutko, PMA-242 program manager, noted early reports indicating the immediate impact of the weapon system in ongoing Ukrainian wartime efforts. The delivery of 14 VAMPIRE systems to Ukraine's ground forces is expected to enhance their capabilities in targeting and neutralizing UAVs, as well as defending against ground threats.