Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners are likely already using American Vampire missile launchers to shoot down Russian suicide bombers.
It appears that the Ukrainian Defense Forces have begun using new weapons against Iranian drones flown by Russia. After repelling another kamikaze drone attack on February 11, 2024, the press service of the Ukrainian Navy published a video of the combat work of its air defense units, where experts noticed a non common thing. First, anti-aircraft gunners targeted the enemy Shahed, using an unknown optical-electronic station, after which the Russian kamikaze drone was hit by a rocket, the drone fell into a dive and fell. What kind of weapon is this?
The Navy video indicates that the units used the latest models of air defense systems while repelling the attack in the Odessa region.
OSINT analyst OSINTtechnical believes that in this way the military demonstrated for the first time the combat operation of Vampire installations using APKWS guided missiles. Defense Express writes that the Vampire consists of an optical location station and a launch unit for APKWS projectiles. At the same time, the optical location station also performs the function of illuminating the target with a laser, since the APKWS has laser guidance.
Analysts noted that the downing of the Shahed with a flight weight of up to 240 kilograms was a significant success for the APKWS, so the Vampire installations for such missiles are a high-tech and relatively inexpensive way of countering the kamikaze UAVs of enemy.
In December, Ukraine was supposed to receive all Vampire anti-drone systems that Washington had previously promised to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the US Navy reported.
VAMPIRE is a portable kit that can be installed in most utility vehicles such as SUVs. The system is independent and can be installed on any vehicle on the ground within hours.
The APKWS is a redesign of the Hydra 70 unguided missiles with a laser-guided kit to convert them to precision-guided munitions. APKWS uses Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Homing (DASALS) technology. The APKWS configuration allows the use of existing Hydra 70 warheads without the need for laser homing in the nose of the missile. The proximity fuse allows it to effectively intercept UAVs. The missile’s laser guidance, which is activated upon launch, does not require aiming at the target before launch.
The system can also hit ground targets.
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