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L3Harris picks EOS Defense Systems for VAMPIRE programme

The VAMPIRE remote weapon system. (L3Harris)

L3Harris has selected Alabama-based EOS Defense Systems to support the Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) programme, which has been tagged by the US Department of Defense (DoD) as one of several weapon systems bound for Ukraine.

The Pentagon contracted L3Harris to integrate the VAMPIRE remote weapon system (RWS) into DoD-provided combat vehicles scheduled for delivery to Ukrainian defence forces. Under the terms of the USD40 million deal agreed to in January 2022, L3Harris would outfit 14 tactical combat vehicles with the VAMPIRE to “allow Ukraine ground forces to target and shoot down enemy drones and defend against adversary ground threats”, according to a statement issued by EOS in July, announcing its new partnership with L3Harris.

The VAMPIRE-equipped combat vehicles “are tailored to provide critical defence assets to help Ukraine protect against attacks on civilian infrastructure”, the July statement added.

The DoD reached the deal with L3Harris a month before Russian forces launched their invasion of Ukraine – a conflict that surpassed the 500-day mark in July. It remains unclear whether the DoD will request additional VAMPIRE-outfitted combat vehicles as part of the department's ongoing military support for Ukrainian forces.

For its part, EOS will provide its AS-65 RWS gimbal for the VAMPIRE system, according to the company statement. The AS-65 is the smallest gimbal in the company's family of RWS gimbal systems, “and is capable of precisely aiming and firing rockets, missiles, and other payloads, supporting ground-to-ground and ground-to-air engagements with a high speed and precision-strike capability”, according to the statement.

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