VAMPIRE is a portable and modular system to defend against unmanned aerial systems. Credit: Business Wire.
VAMPIRE system, developed by L3Harris, can be installed on any vehicle with cargo space. Credit: L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
The VAMPIRE system is integrated with WESCAM MX-10 RSTA independent stabilised sighting system. Credit: L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
L3Harris will supply VAMPIRE systems to Ukraine under the US Government’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). Credit: L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletised intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) is a portable muti-purpose weapon system developed by L3Harris, an aerospace and defence technology company based in the US.

Designed to fit in any tactical or non-tactical vehicles (NTV) with a flat surface, the modular and palletised system can provide ground forces with a rapid, low-cost, and effective weapon deployment solution.

It can be equipped with the advanced precision kill weapons system (APKWS) or other laser-guided munitions, to provide precise strike capabilities against enemy drones and adversary ground threats.

Development and testing of VAMPIRE system

L3Harris developed an early prototype of the VAMPIRE system in 2021 and started field testing in the same year.

The company continued range and durability tests of the system and submitted an advanced prototype to the US Department of Defense (DoD) in April 2022.

VAMPIRE debuted and successfully demonstrated its capability at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) held at Tampa, Florida, in May 2022.

The muti-purpose weapon system was selected as part of the US Government’s $3bn security assistance package under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in August 2022, following which the company started investing more in procurement, testing and certification to expedite the production of the VAMPIRE system.

VAMPIRE system design and features

The VAMPIRE system is designed to be a totally self-contained system, which can integrate different sensors and weapons packages depending on mission needs.

It can be configured with the combat-proven APKWS or other laser-guided munitions, allowing special operations and light forces to quickly track, laser designate and engage ground and air targets beyond the range of conventional weapons that they normally use. Combined with L3Harris’ proximity fuze, the weapon system can deliver increased blast effectiveness and lethality.

The system has been integrated with L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-10 RSTA fully digital, high-definition (HD), multi-sensor and multi-spectral sighting system to support reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) missions. The HD resolution and 360° vantage points of the sighting system can help with wide field-of-view situational awareness to accomplish long-range covert missions.

The VAMPIRE system can be installed on any military or civilian vehicle having a cargo bed in just two hours. It can be operated by just one person and the modular and portable design allows the operator to hide, move and fire in quick succession.

The weapon system comes with its own power supply solution and doesn’t require a 24V alternator on the vehicles it is mounted on.

Orders and deliveries

L3Harris secured a contract worth $40m from the DoD in January 2023 to deliver 14 VAMPIRE systems to the Ukrainian security forces.

The contract was awarded as part of the US Government’s $3bn security assistance package under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) announced in August 2022.

Four of the VAMPIRE systems are scheduled to be delivered by mid-2023, while the remaining ten are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

Under the DoD contract, L3Harris will install the VAMPIRE kits on vehicles supplied by the US Government.

The multi-purpose weapon system ordered for Ukraine will be configured with APKWS and will be deployed to help protect the country’s civilian infrastructure against drone attacks and adversary ground threats.