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Science And Nature

THE UNITED STATES is sending Vampire weapons to hunt drones in Ukraine

On August 24, the Department of Defense announced it will be sending anti-drone weapons called VAMPIREs to Ukraine. The announcement of the VAMPIRE came in a more substantial, nearly $3 billion package of the help of america to Ukraine since it fights against Russias invasion. The inclusion of VAMPIRE highlights the major role that drones are playing in the war, and the task of fighting against them with no specialized weapons.

The form of the war is reflected in another weapons contained in the package. THE UNITED STATES is sending around 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition or more to 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition, weapons that emphasize just how much of today’s conflict can be an artillery fight. The 155mm artillery rounds, fired by US- and NATO-supplied howitzers, can duel with Russian artillery, as the mortar rounds let soldiers by walking attack enemy defenses from behind hills or elsewhere out of sight. Paired with the artillery are two dozen counter-artillery radars, allowing better targeting in artillery duels.

Another 1 / 2 of the package is all drone- or counter-drone related. VAMPIRE may be the headlining system, which combines a sensor having an anti-drone missile launcher that may mount on a variety of vehicles, but its hardly the only real counter-drone system in the package. Beyond an unspecified amount of VAMPIRE systems, the August 24 announcement included six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, some sort of anti-air missile system already used in Ukraine, alongside ammunition to complement. The package includes laser-guided rocket systems, confirmed to be Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II rockets, which were tested against drones. The drones included are Pumas and Scan Eagles, which may be launched without runways and present forces on the floor an improved sense of where enemies and their artillery are.

The US is sending ‘Vampire’ weapons to hunt drones in Ukraine

What’s the VAMPIRE counter-drone system?

Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, described the VAMPIRE as a kinetic system that uses small missiles to shoot drones out from the sky. Many counter-drone systems use electromagnetic interference or jamming to disrupt just how a drone flies and communicates remotely with a human operator, but destroying the drone outright is really a straightforward solution.

Created by L3Harris, VAMPIRE means Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment. Vehicle-Agnostic means it could go in multiple vehicles, and L3Harris site shows the machine mounted in the bed of a crew-cab truck. Civilian vehicles are abundant and frequently modified for war. When weapons are installed on this type of vehicle, it becomes a technical, and the popularity of Toyota Hi-Lux trucks as technicals has resulted in the whole group of insurgency-by-truck being dubbed Toyota Wars.

Modular and palletized both make reference to the way the VAMPIRE could be transported and modified, and that the machine includes its power. ISR is intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and regarding VAMPIRE identifies the specific camera pod mounted on the machine. This camera pod, created by L3 Harris, carries a thermal sensor, optical camera, low-light optical camera, laser rangefinder, and a laser target marker to steer the laser-guided rockets. This sensor system may also include image processing, feature recognition, and video tracking, which are features which could enable it to see and track drones in flight.

Exactly what will the VAMPIRE hunt?

Drones are extensively utilized by both sides fighting in Ukraine. Prior to the invasion, Russia prepared with dedicated military drones to do something as scouts and, especially, as spotters for artillery. Because the invasion, both forces purchased drones extensively, with Ukraine using bomb and rocket-armed Bayraktar TB2 drones to strike Russian forces and record footage of the act.

Because the war progressed, and initial stockpiles of machines and weapons depleted through use or destruction, both Ukrainian and Russian forces turned increasingly to other drone supplies. AMERICA, in addition to NATO allies, continue steadily to supply Ukraine with scout-and-spotter drones just like the Pumas and Scan Eagles contained in the latest package, along with armed drone-missiles just like the Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost.

Russia has considered Iran for extra drone supplies, and provincial governments in Russia have even redirected funds to get hobbyist, commercial drones in order that their soldiers can get into struggle with quadcopter scouts add up to the numbers utilized by Ukrainian soldiers. Hobbyist quadcopters are so in-demand militarily that Russia is formally training volunteer drone pilots. These drones are much cheaper than dedicated military models, with limited range and much more susceptible to jamming or other forms of electronic warfare.

A Mavic quadcopter can cost around $400, and the laser-guided rockets fired by VAMPIRE can cost $27,500 apiece, a disparity that suggests VAMPIRE will instead be hunting more specific military models like Orlan-10 and Orion drones, along with other aircraft. Larger Iranian-made Mohajer-6 and Shahed drones, now in Russian service, may also be likely VAMPIRE targets.

However in the context of the broader artillery duel in Ukraine, sufficient reason for Ukrainian forces launching a counter-offensive to retake the Russian-held city of Kherson on the mouth of the Dnipro river, the opportunity to destroy artillery spotters by means of drones in flight could save lives and preserve the advance. Brought in to the open, VAMPIRE demonstrates modern counter-drone weapons are no more kept in the shadows.

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