Small Diameter Bomb: Boeing Suggests Attaching Precision Bombs to Existing Rockets to Aid Ukraine Defense – The Pentagon is reportedly considering a proposal from Boeing that would see the transfer of large quantities of inexpensive and small precision bombs that can be fitted onto rockets that are already available in abundance.
The proposal would give Ukraine an instant supply of weapons that can deliver ammunition strikes with precision.
If accepted, the move could also relieve the strain on NATO Allies – many of whom are struggling with dwindling supplies of military equipment and weapons as Ukraine continues to eat into foreign stockpiles.
The system proposed by Boeing has been coined the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), and if implemented, could potentially give Ukraine the kind of firepower it needs to launch strikes back at Russian forces across the Ukraine border.
Small Diameter Bomb: What is the GLSDB?
A fact sheet published by Boeing in 2015 describes the design and purpose of the GLSDB.
The aircraft and weapons manufacturer describes how the GLSDB integrates two “combat-proven systems” already manufactured by the company, namely the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) I and the M26 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) rocket. By combining the two pieces of military hardware, Boeing created a rocket system that is “capable of conducting reverse slope engagements and defeating targets ranging from hardened facilities to soft-skinned assets.”
“GLSDB builds upon Boeing’s highly successful SDB and existing MLRS rockets. The SDB I is a 250-pound class weapon with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and a programmable electronic fuze,” the fact sheet reads, adding that roughly 17,000 SDBs have already been manufactured at the company’s St. Charles, MO production facility.
Not only is the GLSDB a more cost-effective way of bolstering Ukraine’s missile supplies, but also provides greater efficiency with six rockets available per pod.
The highly accurate rocket system can be used in all weather conditions and may also be launched from hidden or protected positions to avoid detection.
Is This the Long-Distance Missile System Ukraine Has Been Asking For?
Ukrainian authorities have long requested long-range missile systems from Western countries.
While many advanced medium-range missile systems have since been supplied in the form of HIMARS and more, Western countries have remained hesitant to provide long-range missiles that could make it too easy for Ukraine to cause significant damage in Russia.
Instead, the GLSDB will provide Ukraine with a cheap and effective method of striking back at Russian positions and potentially across the border, but it still falls short of what Ukraine has asked for.
Unlike the ATACMS missile system – a weapon with a range of 297km that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had hoped the United States would send – the GLSDB has a range of 150km.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.
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