Data and analytics company, Global Data has identified the VAMPIRE anti-drone system as a cost-effective solution to Ukraine compared to the MiG-29s, S-300 and NASAMS ground defence systems which the country is currently using in tackling Russian attack.
The use of drones and loitering munitions by Russia in recent months has come at a relatively low financial cost but has increased the costs for Ukraine to launch effective anti-air systems, says GlobalData.
Whilst Ukraine has had a high degree of success in combatting these attacks by Russia, the VAMPIRE anti-drone system is seen as a cheaper option compared to utilising aircraft or ground defence systems.
This can be easily mounted on the back of a civilian truck, and will be delivered to Ukraine in mid-2023. The system is being produced by L3Harris at a cost of around $27,000 per unit.
William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData, explained, “The estimated cost of the Shahed loitering munition used by Russia is between $10,000-50,000 , and as such is relatively cheap to deploy. Along with the use of COTS drones in the battlefield, Russia, which, at the start of the war was using ineffective and expensive domestic drones, is becoming a serious threat to Ukrainian civilians and its military infrastructure.”
The advantage of the VAMPIRE system is it is easy to mobilise as needed, apart from the low cost and meeting Ukraine’s anti-drone needs.
Davies added that, “The deployment of the VAMPIRE system will give Ukraine the freedom to mobilise its anti-anticraft systems to defend key infrastructure, but the range limit of the system is around 2 miles, and this combined with the fact that it won’t appear in Ukraine until the middle of 2023 means it is not yet a miracle solution to Ukraine’s drone problems.”
The utilisation of converted commercial drones alongside traditional anti-air systems could provide Ukraine with an effective multilayer air defence network. As unmanned systems continue to proliferate warfare, C-UAS will become increasingly vital.