Defense News
February 3, 2023

US pledges longer-range ‘small-diameter bomb’ for Ukraine

The U.S. announced Friday it will send Ukraine the ground-launched small-diameter bomb, a weapon that can double Kyiv’s strike range….

The package’s GPS-guided GLSDB from Boeing has a range of 93 miles and can be launched from mobile artillery systems like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. It comes after reports the Biden administration was considering helping Ukraine target the Crimean peninsula, which Russia has been using to launch strikes.

Ground-launched small diameter bombs will give Ukraine “a long-range fires capability that will enable them [to] tak[e] back their sovereign territory in Russian-occupied areas.” the Pentagon’s press secretary, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, told reporters.

Asked whether the weapons would be used against Russian targets in Crimea, Ryder declined to say.

Funding in the package for long-term purchases includes two HAWK air defense firing units, anti-aircraft guns, counter drone systems and Puma drones. The package also for the first time includes unspecified equipment to connect all the different air defense systems Western allies have rushed to the battlefield and integrate them into Ukraine’s own air defenses….

In recent months, the U.S. has pledged medium- to long-range National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, and truck-launched short-range Avenger air defense systems; the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S. are sending Patriot missile defense systems; Germany is sending medium-range IRIS-T air defense systems; and Spain is sending Aspide anti-aircraft air defense systems.