Boeing proposes to supply Ukraine with small precision bombs, reports Reuters
The GLSDB projectile, which Boeing proposes to produce for Ukraine (Photo:boeing.co.kr)
The United States is considering a Boeing proposal to produce small precision bombs with a 150 km (94-mile) range, so Ukrainian troops can strike far behind Russian lines, Reuters reported on Nov. 28, citing industry and government sources.
U.S. European Command (EUCOM), which is overseeing weapons headed to Ukraine, will look the proposal over, Reuters wrote, as ammunition stockpiles that can be supplied by NATO members are rapidly depleting.
According to a document that Reuters received, the precision weapons in question is likely the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB). It combines the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) and the M26 rocket motor, both of which are common in U.S. inventories. It can be supplied as early as spring 2023, Boeing believes.
With a range of 150 km (94 miles), this bomb would allow the Ukrainian army to hit valuable military targets that have been out of range for Ukraine’s current weapons. However, the bombs still fall short of the 300 km range of the long-range ATACMS missiles requested by Ukraine.
The GLSDB is inexpensive and its components are abundant. The GBU-39 alone costs about $40,000 each. Some GLSDB units have already been produced, but official supplies are faced with logistical challenges.
These units are GPS-guided and defeat some electronic jamming. The GLSDB can be used in any weather conditions against a variety of targets, including armored equipment.
Both Boeing and Pentagon spokespersons declined to comment on the proposal. Still Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman, the Pentagon representative, said together with allies they would "identify and consider the most appropriate systems" that would help Kyiv in resisting the full-scale Russian invasion.
The United States has supported Ukraine from the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Feb. 24, providing humanitarian and military equipment and ammunition.
In October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said allies would step up with Ukraine in regard to "winter clothing and fuel, and other things, tents, and other types of supplies that will enable the Ukrainians to also operate throughout the winter."
He also noted that NATO support allows Ukraine to prevent Russia's Air Force from gaining dominance over Ukrainian skies.
On Nov. 21, Stoltenberg said NATO had exhausted the military stocks of most of its members and called on states to expand military production, by raising the defense spending to up to 2% of GDP of each member.
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