Recent footage has provided strong indications that Ukrainian anti-aircraft units are now utilizing American-made Vampire defense systems to neutralize Russian Shahed drones. The Ukrainian Navy released a video on Feb. 11 on Telegram showcasing high-tech air-defense systems in action.
The video captures a moment where Ukrainian operators target a Shahed drone using an electro-optical targeting system, followed by the launch of a jet-propelled projectile that sends the drone spiraling downwards.
This Navy footage is said to represent the first concrete evidence of Vampire systems actively serving in Ukraine's air defense, particularly noted by an OSINT analyst known as OSINTtechnical. The Vampire system, equipped with APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System) guided rockets, is designed for engaging aerial threats as well as ground targets.
Vampire's setup includes a targeting system and a launcher for the APKWS rockets, employing a WESCAM MX-10 RSTA multispectral (infrared and electro-optical) sighting system for both reconnaissance and target marking, leveraging the rockets' laser guidance, according to Defense Express.
The interception of a Shahed drone, which can weigh up to 240 kilograms, marks a notable achievement for the APKWS technology, therefore Vampire systems are a high-tech and cost-efficient means of countering enemy kamikaze drones.
The U.S. Navy has confirmed that all Vampire systems promised to Ukraine had been delivered by the end of 2023, reinforcing the country's air defense capabilities against ongoing aerial threats.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine