Defense News
November 1, 2022

Drone-killing Vampires due in Ukraine next year, Pentagon says

The U.S. is aiming to send Ukraine the “Vampire” counter-drone system by mid-2023, with a contract award expected within months, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

The Pentagon on Aug. 24 announced it would send the system, a laser-guided-missile launcher that can quickly be installed in a civilian truck bed, as part of a larger arms package….

“Air defense continues to be a priority, it’s something we’re going to continue to stay focused on and work as quickly as we can,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said. “In reference to the Vampires, we do expect a contract award within the next few months, and right now we’re anticipating delivery to be in mid 2023.”

The L3Harris-made Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment uses laser-guided munitions to hit ground or air targets, including unmanned aircraft systems.

….Kyiv has pleaded for additional air defense systems. The U.S. and NATO have responded positively, as U.S. Defense Secretary cited the need at a NATO press conference last month and said Washington is working to link the patchwork of air defense systems in Ukraine.

Those systems include anti-aircraft Stinger missiles from the U.S. and others, Russian-made S-300 medium-range air defenses, Hawk medium-range air defenses from Spain and truck-mounted IRIS-T systems from Germany. The U.S. is on the verge of delivering the medium-range National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, which is jointly produced by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg.