These ‘Vampire’ weapons will help Ukraine fight drones
On August 24, the Department of Defense announced it would be sending anti-drone weapons called VAMPIREs to Ukraine. The announcement of the VAMPIRE came in a larger, nearly $3 billion package of assistance from the United States to Ukraine as it fights against Russia’s invasion. The inclusion of VAMPIRE highlights the major role that drones are playing in the war, and the challenge of fighting against them without having specialized weapons.
The shape of the war is reflected in the other weapons included in the package. The US is sending up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition and up to 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition, weapons that emphasize how much of the present conflict is an artillery fight. The 155mm artillery rounds, fired by US- and NATO-supplied howitzers, can duel with Russian artillery, while the mortar rounds let soldiers on foot attack enemy defenses from behind hills or otherwise out of sight. Paired with the artillery are two dozen…