L3Harris Technologies [LHX] last Friday said it has received a $40 million Pentagon contract to provide its 14 of its VAMPIRE weapon systems to Ukraine this year, with the first four units delivered by mid-2023.

The Vehicular Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment, called VAMPIRE, is a portable multi-purpose weapon system that will be installed on government furnished vehicles, that will strengthen Ukrainian defenses against unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) being used to attack civilian infrastructure. The system can also be used to defend against ground threats.

The production contract, the first for VAMPIRE, follows an announcement last August by the U.S. Department of Defense that the system would be part of a $3 billion security assistance package for Ukraine to aid in that country’s fight against Russian invaders.

L3Harris began field testing its VAMPIRE prototype in 2021 and continued range and durability tests in summer 2022. The system includes an L3Harris WESCAM MX-10 reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition sensor system, the BAE Systems

-supplied Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System rocket, which is equipped with the L3Harris proximity fuze to engage small or soft targets.

L3Harris said it has invested to be able to speed production of VAMPIRE.

“We’ve invested in procurement, testing and certification since August so VAMPIRE production can begin without delay,” Luke Savoie, president, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at L3Harris, said in a statement.

Ukraine is in constant need of air defense systems that can protect its forces and infrastructure against a range of UAS, ballistic and cruise missile attacks by Russia.