L3Harris Technologies announced today receiving a $40 million Department of Defense contract to deliver 14 Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment or VAMPIRE multi-purpose weapons system – to strengthen Ukrainian security defense efforts. The VAMPIRE prototype, submitted to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in April, was selected in August as part of the DoD’s $3 billion security assistance package under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. The company began field testing in 2021 and continued range and durability tests in summer 2022. The portable VAMPIRE kit will allow Ukraine ground forces to target and shoot down enemy drones and defend against adversary ground threats.
Under the DoD contract, L3Harris will install VAMPIRE kits on U.S. government-provided vehicles for agile combat support to the Ukrainian battlefield. The contract calls for L3Harris to deliver 14 VAMPIRE systems to DoD, with four delivered by mid-2023 and ten more delivered by the end of 2023. The VAMPIRE’s mission management system integrates an advanced WESCAM MX-10 RSTA targeting sensor with its weapons station, allowing an operator to quickly and accurately engage targets. VAMPIRE is designed to complement the low-cost, low-signature, and availability of common NTVs and fit in any pickup or vehicle with a cargo bed. Installation can be completed in approximately two hours by two people using common tools. The AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) , selected specifically for use in Ukraine, provides increased lethality for engaging small or soft targets when combined with L3Harris’ proximity fuze.
“We’ve invested in procurement, testing and certification since August so VAMPIRE production can begin without delay. We’re committed to supporting a U.S. strategic partner with a robust capability, as the people of Ukraine continue to defend their country and protect their independence,” said Luke Savoie, President, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, L3Harris.
The AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) is a design conversion of Hydra 70 unguided rockets with a laser guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions (PGMs). APKWS is approximately one-third the cost and one-third the weight of the current inventory of laser-guided weapons have a lower yield more suitable for avoiding collateral damage and takes one-quarter of the time for ordnance personnel to load and unload. The APKWS II uses the Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS) technology. This system allows a laser seeker to be located on the leading edge of each of the forward control canards, working in unison as if they were a single seeker. This configuration allows existing warheads from the Hydra 70 system to be used without the need for a laser seeker in the missile nose. An APKWS-equipped rocket was fitted with a proximity fuze and destroyed a Class 2 UAS.