The Ukrainian military has been seen using a new weapon system in recent video footage that has been circulating online. The weapon system consists of Humvee-mounted rocket launchers, which can fire guided 70mm rockets that are designed to be used as anti-drone weapons.
The video clip features at least one up-armored M1152A1 Humvee equipped with an Arnold Defense LAND-LGR4 four-shot launcher firing rockets believed to be Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) rockets. The beginning of the clip features the logo of Ukraine’s newly established 37th Separate Marine Brigade, which reportedly began using the APKWS II rockets last month.
The U.S. military has confirmed sending APKWS II rockets to Ukraine, and the rockets seen in the video appear to be guided designs based on their impressive accuracy. The video also shows a 70mm rocket with a Ukrainian slogan, but it is uncertain if it is equipped with a laser-guided kit.
The rocket launcher, known as VAMPIRE, is manufactured by BAE Systems and costs approximately $27,500 per round. The mobile launchers would allow Ukrainian forces to shoot and move, protecting them from enemy counter-attacks. The rockets can be used against ground targets, including hostile forces in covered positions such as buildings and key enemy systems such as communication arrays and radar dishes.
The up-armored Humvees used in this instance would offer an additional layer of defense against certain threats.
The emergence of this rocket launcher vehicle comes as Ukrainian forces gear up for a new counter-offensive. A flexible, lower-end precision-strike option could be valuable in engaging strong points that Russian forces have erected along parts of the front in the past few months.
Despite the video footage showing no visible sensor turrets on any of the Humvees, these could be mounted on separate vehicles off-camera. It is uncertain how many launcher vehicles are in Ukrainian service, but the VAMPIRE rocket launcher could be a valuable asset for Ukraine’s military in various contexts.
With the potential to be used as an anti-drone weapon and against ground targets, the VAMPIRE rocket launcher may prove to be an effective weapon system for the Ukrainian military in their fight against Russian aggression.