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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

US plans long-range missiles over Ukraine as arms stockpile dwindles.

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The Pentagon is considering a proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs mounted on a large number of missiles, and while the West struggles to meet the demand for more weapons, Kyiv can attack far behind the Russian front. U.S. and allied military inventories are dwindling, and Ukraine faces a need for more sophisticated weapons as the war drags on. Boeing’s proposed system, called the Ground-Launched Small Caliber Bomb (GLSDB), is one of about half a dozen plans to produce new ammunition for Ukraine and US eastern European allies, industry sources said.

The GLSDB could be delivered as early as spring 2023, according to documents seen by Reuters and three of his people familiar with the plan. It combines the GBU-39 small caliber bomb (SDB) with his M26 rocket engine, both common in US stocks. Doug Bush, the U.S. Army’s top arms buyer, told reporters at the Pentagon last week that the military is also considering accelerating the production of 155mm ammunition. The invasion of Ukraine has spurred demand for US-made weapons and ammunition, and US allies in Eastern Europe are “ordering more” for various weapons while supplying Ukraine, Bush added. The United States rejected its request for an ATACMS missile with a range of 297 km (185 miles), but the GLSDB has a range of 150 km (94 miles), allowing Ukraine to hit valuable military targets out of range. , helps to continue—her counterattack by disrupting the Russian rear areas.

Co-manufactured by Saab AB and Boeing, her GLSDB has been in development since 2019, well before the invasion, which Russia describes as a “special military operation.” In October, SAAB Chief Executive Officer Micael Johansson said of GLSDB: “We will be signing a contract on this shortly.” HIMARS launches guided missiles with multiple rocket launch systems (GMLRS). This is a GPS-guided missile with a 90 kg (200 lb) warhead. Lockheed Martin builds approximately 4,600 rockets annually. So far he has sent more than 5,000 to Ukraine. The US has not disclosed the number of her GMLRS cartridges supplied to Ukraine.

Repurposing weapons for everyday military use is not a new tactic. The NASAMS anti-aircraft system was developed by Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace and Raytheon uses the AIM-120 missile. It was originally intended to be launched from fighter jets at other aircraft. Another weapon, the Joint Direct Attack Ammunition (JDAM), is ubiquitous in US inventories and is a standard unguided bomb with fins and a GPS guidance system.

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