Ukraine can use whatever it needs to liberate its territories, says Pentagon

4 February, 11:57 AM
Rocket GLSDB (Photo:Boeing)

Rocket GLSDB (Photo:Boeing)

Ukraine must independently decide what operations to carry out to liberate its territories, a Pentagon official said when commenting on the possible use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine of long-range GLSDB missiles to liberate Crimea.

An official Pentagon representative, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, said during a briefing on Feb. 4 that ground-launched small diameter bombs will give Ukraine “long-range fires capability that will enable them, again, to conduct operations in defense of their country and to take back their sovereign territory in Russian-occupied areas.”

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The GLSDB’s technological advances make it a potentially more effective weapon that Ukraine’s much-vaunted HIMARS long-range multiple launch rocket systems. The GLSDB’s navigation system enables it to be steered around obstacles like mountains and known anti-air defenses, unlike traditional artillery, which follows a parabolic arc towards its target.

The weapon is also equipped to defeat some jamming attempts and has a programmable explosive.

“When it comes to Ukrainian plans on operations, clearly that is their decision,” Ryder said.

“They are in the lead for those.  So, I’m not going to talk about or speculate about potential future operations, but again, all along, we’ve been working with them to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be effective on the battlefield.”

On Feb. 3, the United States announced a new $2.175 billion military aid package to Ukraine, which includes, among other things, two HAWK air defense systems, 250 Javelin systems, Puma drones, radars and ammunition.

The Pentagon later confirmed that the new military aid package will include GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb) missiles with a range of 150 kilometers.

The HIMARS system has a range of half that, at about 70 kilometers — although this depends on the type of ammunition used. It can also launch ATACMS rockets, which have ranges of around 300 kilometers.

However, the United States is yet to supply Ukraine with these longer-range rockets.

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