All you need to know about VAMPIRE rocket launchers

With the conflict now having crossed the six-month mark and showing no signs of abating, Ukraine needs long-term support, which is affordable and sustainable in the long run, and the VAMPIRE system is part of that plan.

How does the VAMPIRE System work?

Developed by Melbourne, Florida.-based L3 Harris, the VAMPIRE weapon is a small four-barreled rocket launcher that also includes a sensor ball. The whole assembly can be put together by a two-man crew on the cargo bed of a standard pickup truck in just a couple of hours.

VAMPIRE: A pallet kit that makes any pickup truck a rocket launcher in two hours

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To operate, though, it just needs a single person who can use it for targets on the ground or in the air. According to the information available on L3 Harris’ webpage, everything needed to operate the weapon is available on the pallet which negates the need for a 24-volt alternator on the vehicle. Therefore, the weapon can be mounted even on non-tactical vehicles (NTV).

VAMPIRE: A pallet kit that makes any pickup truck a rocket launcher in two hours

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The weapon can be used to launch advanced precision kill weapons systems (APKWS) or other laser-guided munitions. After speculation was rife about which system was being sent to Ukraine, L3 Harris clarified that its rocket-based system was to be sent.

What does it mean for Ukrainian defense?

The decision to send the VAMPIRE system has been taken after considering the changing landscape of the conflict. Over the past few months, the balance has shifted in Russian favor as it has consolidated its air defenses. Ukrainian drones that were once wreaking havoc behind Russian lines have become easy targets, while Russia has stepped up its use of drones in the conflict.

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