As of this week, Ukraine has a brand new long-range weapon to threaten the Russians far behind the front lines. The accurate Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) can hit targets up to 150 kilometers away. That is almost twice as far as the range of the previously sent Himars missiles.
Karen Van Eyken
Feb 2 2024
Have four sources of news and research platform Politico reported that Ukraine will receive a new shipment of American-made guided bombs this week. Boeing and Saab developed the precision weapon together.
The first tests of the long-range missile took place in 2015 and last year the US government announced that the new weapon would be sent to Ukraine. According to the Reuters news agency, a last successful test took place in Florida on January 16. Normally, Ukraine could be the first country in the world to deploy the GLSDBs on the battlefield from Wednesday, anonymous US officials have said. Politico declared.
A GLSDB is fired from the ground with, for example, a Himars system and then propelled upwards by a launch vehicle. At the highest point in the sky, the rocket and bomb are disconnected. Then the wings unfold, after which the floating bomb flies to its target.
It is a fairly manoeuvrable projectile that can make all kinds of turns to avoid enemy defenses. The small diameter GLSDB bombs can fly up to 150 kilometers, threatening Russian positions behind the front lines. Moreover, they are relatively cheap.
This will allow Ukraine to rapidly expand its arsenal of long-range weapons, which is very necessary and urgent. Due to the limited supply of ammunition and other problems, the country has already had to switch to ‘active defense’.
The new weapon is therefore a very good addition to the other long-range missiles that Ukraine already received from France and the United Kingdom. Although they have a longer range of 250 kilometers, they are limited in stock and must be fired from an aircraft, which entails more risk.
Another disadvantage is the very expensive price tag: a British Storm Shadow easily costs 2 million pounds (more than 2.3 million euros). For comparison: a GLSDB costs only 40,000 dollars (the equivalent of 37,000 euros).
Thanks to the GLSDBs, Ukraine can now more easily strike in the Russian-occupied areas. This will also force the Russian army to move logistics further from the front. A source at Reuters speaks of ‘a significant additional asset for Ukraine and an extra arrow in their quiver’.
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