Killer simplicity: how the Vampire system that the US will send to Ukraine works

Killer simplicity: how the Vampire system that the US will send to Ukraine works
Killer simplicity: how the Vampire system that the US will send to Ukraine works
3 November, 14:33ArmyPhoto: Соцсети
The Vampire modular multi-purpose missile launcher, capable of fighting both drones and helicopters, is easy to install on almost any vehicle,

Alexander Sychev

As Novye Izvestia has already reported, the Pentagon explained the inclusion of the Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment, or VAMPIRE for short, in the next package of military assistance to Ukraine by the increase in the number of unmanned aerial vehicles used by the Russian armed forces. They are effectively used in intelligence, as well as for the destruction of military targets.

The developer of the system, the American company L3Harris Technologies, on its website, limits the scope of its product to the fight against drones and slow-flying helicopters. The lower weight limit for drones against which the system can be used is second-class drones. According to the American gradation, they include drones weighing from 9 to 25 kilograms.

However, experts and especially journalists are talking more about the method of using the system, which is not advertised by the company, which differs from others of its kind in the presence of laser guidance, small size and a retractable rod with sensors.

The bar allows you to fire from any cover. The dimensions make it possible to install the system on any vehicle - from a pickup truck to a heavy-duty trailer. And laser guidance is also suitable for firing not only at air targets.

These advantages open up another niche for the system, which Western journalists did not openly write about, but diligently hinted at its possibility. These are sabotage operations. It is enough to mount the installation on a trailer or on a ship and camouflage it. A large object cannot be destroyed with five kilograms of explosives, but arrow-shaped submunitions can cause significant damage to people.

Two people can assemble the system. At the same time, you do not need to have special talents as a fitter. The whole job will take only two hours. The instruction is attached. And one person will be able to manage VAMPIRE.

The system power source is a 24-volt automotive alternator. Its power is sufficient not only to operate the machine itself, but also to supply power to the optical system (thermal imaging and optical zoom cameras) located on the telescopic mast, laser rangefinder, infrared target marker, inertial measurement unit (IMU), which determines the linear and angular moving targets and finally launching missiles.

The VAMPIRE system uses missiles with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS), which are placed four in a cassette. The number of spare pallets depends only on the dimensions of the body.

Semi-active laser seekers are located on the leading edge of each of the four forward control rudders. The heads work in sync. Thanks to laser target designation, no target acquisition is required before launch. The signal from four optical receivers of laser radiation on the leading edges of the tail is transmitted to the missile's homing system. Targets are illuminated by laser rangefinders-target designators from the ground - from a launcher or gunners sent to the targets in advance. The circular probable deviation of the missile from the target is less than half a meter.

Initially, these missiles in the Hydra-70 modification were used on helicopters and airplanes. In the first case, the firing range reached five kilometers, and in the second - about eleven. The firing range from the car platform is not disclosed. We can talk about a kilometer, a maximum of two.

Thus, the VAMPIRE system from L3 Technologies will provide the Ukrainian military with an interesting tool for defense. Now pickup trucks that were previously modified to use a heavy machine gun will be able to gain much more firepower. But Washington officially plans to send VAMPIRE to Ukraine no earlier than May next year. What the possible delay is connected with is not explained.

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