The US government is mulling over a proposal to send Ukraine small and cheap precision bombs fitted onto abundantly available rockets, allowing the country to strike up to 94 miles behind Russian lines.
According to Reuters, Boeing’s proposed system called the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) combines small, inexpensive precision GBU-39 bombs fitted to a M26 rocket motor which are both in abundant supply in the US inventories.
Washington has sent Ukraine more than $19 billion in military aid since the outbreak of the war in February, including 8,500 Javelin anti-armor missile systems.
The Boeing proposal is one out of six to support President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s military and other Western allies in eastern Europe.
Previously, Zelenskyy’s request for the 185-mile range ATACMS missile was rejected, however, the delivery of the GLSDB is said to happen as soon as spring of 2023 to help the Ukrainian military to continue pressing its counterattacks by disrupting Russian rear areas.
“It’s about getting quantity at a cheap cost,” Tom Karako, a weapons and security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.
He noted that falling stockpiles at US inventories are “getting low relative to the levels we like to keep on hand and certainly to the levels we’re going to need to deter a China conflict.”
Last week, Doug Bush, the US Army’s chief weapons buyer, told reporters at the Pentagon that the special military operation in Ukraine had driven up demands for American weaponry, and US Allies are “putting a lot of orders,” in for a range of arms.
Pentagon Spokesman Lieutenant Tim Gorman said the US and its allies “identify and consider the most appropriate systems” that would help Kiev, not commenting on providing any “specific capability” to Ukraine.
Boeing has announced the main components of the GLSDB would come from current US stores.