Home Americas Long-range GLSDB bombs make it onto Pentagon’s Ukraine aid list

Long-range GLSDB bombs make it onto Pentagon’s Ukraine aid list

GLSDB for Ukraine
Photo: Saab

After months of reporting on a possible US transfer of Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) to Ukraine, the Pentagon has finally confirmed this decision.

Based on Boeing’s air-launched GBU-39 small diameter bomb, GLSDB has a range of 150 kilometers, doubling the artillery range Ukraine currently has at its disposal.

It is worth noting that the bombs would not be supplied as part of a Presidential Drawdown, which draws on US military stocks to provide capabilities to Ukraine quickly, but as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which procures capabilities from the industry and takes longer to reach the frontline.

Some reports estimate that Ukraine could receive first GLSDBs, which can be launched from the HIMARS launchers, in nine months.

According to Boeing and Saab, the bomb’s developers, GLSDB can hit targets across a wide area within a radius of one meter. It also has the ability to fly non-ballistic trajectories and maneuvers to strike targets that cannot be reached by conventional direct fire weapons, such as with reverse slope engagement.

“As part of the USAI package, we will be providing Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs to Ukraine. This gives them a longer-range capability – 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,” Pentagon’s press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Friday.

The announcement is part of a larger assistance package, which will include a Presidential Drawdown valued at up to $425 million, as well as $1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds.

The drawdown includes additional HIMARS ammunition, additional 155mm artillery rounds, additional 120mm mortar rounds, 190 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights and associated ammunition to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems,
181 mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, Javelin anti-armor systems, anti-armor rockets, cold weather gear, helmets, and other field equipment.

Under USAI, the Pentagon will be providing Ukraine with two HAWK air defense firing units, anti-aircraft guns and ammunition, equipment to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s air defense systems, equipment to sustain Ukraine’s existing air defense capabilities, counter-UAS systems, air surveillance radars, Puma UAS, precision-guided rockets and other equipment.

In total, the United States has now committed $30 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration. In total, the US has committed more than $29.3 billion to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.