There are times when we are called on to stand up to oppression and violence. Unfortunately, this is one of those times, and Ben Machine is proud to join our government, other governments and our customers around the world in standing up for the people of Ukraine as they continue to mount a powerful defense against a much larger foe. Our military CNC machining expertise is helping in our nation’s efforts to assist the Ukrainians.
Ben Machine has been providing military machining to the defence industry in Canada and elsewhere for almost half a century, so it’s no surprise that some of our work is now going to support Ukraine. We are even now ramping up manufacturing of components to further their national defence efforts.
Assisting Rapid New Product Initiatives
Our customers share the same need to support our government and the plight of the Ukrainians, quickly mobilizing their engineering teams and supply chains to develop new solutions to fit unique battle environments. L3 Harris Technologies, for example, put significant efforts behind developing a new Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment System, otherwise known as VAMPIRE. These systems have been heralded for their versatility. Popular Science awarded VAMPIRE its “Best Of What’s New Award” in November. The key feature that has garnered L3 Harris so much attention is the system’s flexibility.
Projectile and Target Flexibility
Part of that flexibility comes from the munition’s capability. They can be outfitted with a variety of weapons and sensor packages to engage ground or aerial targets by laser targeting. Drone-based weapons, or unmanned aerial systems, fall into two basic categories. “Loitering munitions” are the quad-copter type of drone that can linger in an area for a while until they identify a target. These tend to be rather slow-moving. Kamikaze drones, on the other hand, attack predetermined targets much like missiles, at high speed. The VAMPIRE system is effective against both types of drones. That makes them ideal for defending civilian infrastructure which is often the target of choice.
Along with drones, VAMPIRE can also be used to defend against light ground-based vehicles and installations. What’s more, the system can target and take out ground and air-based targets from a much greater range than light forces can normally reach.
The capabilities of the munitions are enhanced by VAMPIRE’s real claim to fame. It can be mounted in basically any pickup truck. This provides unprecedented firepower and maneuverability for light forces. Troops can fire at an incoming drone, then move quickly to an entirely new location to avoid any return fire. This technology will save lives over traditional systems that could leave troops pinned down once their location was revealed.
Even the targeting system provides troops with options. Targeting can utilize thermal imaging, night vision, and haze penetration. It features optical zoom, image stabilization, and image smoothing. The fully digital system handles range-finding and inertial measurement. Interestingly, the imaging system is not unique to VAMPIRE and has been used on various military vehicles in recent years.
Military CNC Machining
Ben Machine had begun shifting production and schedules around to accommodate the expected increase in demand for defence machining. The VAMPIRE systems aren’t expected to reach Ukraine until this Summer, but there’s a lot of exacting work to be done between now and then. Ben Machine is proud to play its part in assisting innovative and impressive companies like L3 Harris in helping the efforts to defend Ukraine and build components for systems like the VAMPIRE system.
If you are looking for agile CNC machining capabilities that can quickly be maneuvered to focus on critical new production initiatives, please reach out and talk with one of our machining experts. We know how to adjust our machining and fabrication schedules to meet your objectives.
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