US reportedly ready to supply Ukraine with GLSDB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs

According to various media, U.S. President Joe Biden said he is planning to speak to President Zelenskyy about future military aid packages. Two U.S. officials briefed on the matter told Reuters on January 31 that the U.S. is preparing to offer Ukraine a $2.2 billion military aid package which is expected to include GLSDB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs for the first time as well as other munitions and weapons.
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The GLSDB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb is a new generation of precision-guided ammunition which can be fired by M270 or M142 HIMARS rocket launcher systems at a range of up to 150 km.  (Picture source SAAB )

Among the longer-range artillery munitions, there would be the GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb), a new generation of precision-guided ammunition that was jointly developed by Boeing and SAAB and can be launched from artillery systems such as the M142 HIMARS or the M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).

The GLSDB is based on the GBU-39B SDB I bomb originally designed for launch from an aircraft using the propulsion motor of the M26 rocket which is the first major unmanned rocket projectile in the MLRS family.

The GLSDB is able to reach a target at a maximum range of 150 km, with an accuracy of 1 meter, which increases by 50% the firing range of the standard guided rockets fired by M270 or HIMARS, two artillery systems that are now in service with the Ukrainian armed forces. The guidance system of the GLSDB includes an inertial navigation system (INS) / global positioning system (GPS) allowing guidance, navigation, and position data for the bomb. With this guidance system, the GLSDB can be used to destroy static or moving targets during the day and night and in all weather conditions.

The GLSDB has a weight of around 115 kg and is equipped with an Advanced Anti-Jam GPS System-aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose, penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and programmable electronic fuze. The GLSDB is fitted with an ultra-low fragmentation, carbon fiber case warhead with 57.6 kg Insensitive Munition-certified explosive fill.

The supply of such a longer-range weapon would add a significant capability to the Ukrainian arsenal, an improvement that Russia already warned the West it would consider as a ‘’dangerous escalation’’ of the conflict and a ‘’red line’’ unacceptably infringed. Wait and see…