Saab and Boeing want to convert a small glide bomb for a rocket launcher. The weapon can accurately shoot down a tank at a distance of 150 kilometers. In addition, it is relatively cheap.

To help Ukraine, the US is emptying its magazines. But even with the superpower, the supply of smart missiles and grenades is not infinite. But it is the intelligent, ultra-precise ammunition that makes the difference and gives Ukraine an advantage on the battlefield.

According to the Reuters agency, the US government is considering a proposal by Boeing to supply one of its precision glide bombs – “Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb” (GLSDB) – to Ukraine. The warhead can be launched with rockets, which in turn are compatible with the Himars launchers. According to the report, there are several plans by US industry to ramp up armaments production because of the Ukraine war.

Modified aerial bomb

The glide bomb would bring another benefit to Kyiv. It would increase the range of the multiple rocket launchers to 150 kilometers, significantly increasing the zone in which Kiev forces can hit the Russians in the rear. The Himars Launchers also have their own long-range missile. This ATACMS missile has a range of 297 kilometers and could hit targets deep in Russia. But so far Washington has always refused the requested delivery. With the GLSDB, the US would follow their previous “salami tactics”. To increase the dose and effectiveness of the weapons supplied continuously but in small increments.

According to Reuters, the weapons can be assembled from two proven building blocks. For this purpose, an aerial bomb is assembled with the M26 rocket motor. The small precision bomb was actually developed for airplanes. Their low weight and small diameter enable a jet to carry many smart bombs and thus fight multiple targets. The development of a ground-based variant was started together with Saab in 2019, well before the Ukraine war.

The idea is that the part of the aircraft is taken over by a simple launch vehicle. The rocket does not need to have any special skills. It only brings the glide bomb to the required height, but not to the target. There it will be ejected as soon as it is released from the aircraft. The bomb has small, foldable wings that allow it to glide more than 100 kilometers. Their deviation from the target point is only about 50 centimeters. Both engine and bomb hardly need to be adjusted for the program. The price of the bomb is relatively modest at 40,000 dollars, together with the simple rocket motor this would be a very cheap system.

US defense industry is ramping up production

In general, the defense industry in the USA is increasing its production capacities. Among other things, the Pentagon is planning to have weapons that were previously only manufactured in its own facilities now also manufactured by industrial companies. This is very unpleasant news for Russia. So far, Moscow and Kiev’s supporters have been waging the war from the magazine. That means: The consumption of the war far exceeds the new production of weapons. Both sides speculate that the opponent will run out of material first. But if the US, which can draw on suppliers from almost all over the world, ramps up its armaments production by mobilizing industrial capacities, the much smaller Russian economy, which is also being hampered by massive sanctions, will not be able to win this race.

Source: Saab; Reuters