Ukrainian rocket artillery is anticipated to engage and neutralize Russian invaders from 2024, leveraging the advanced capabilities of U.S.-delivered Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) munitions.
On February 3, 2023, the U.S. unveiled a comprehensive aid package to Ukraine, with a pivotal element being the GLSDB. This month, Boeing will hand over a batch of these munitions to the U.S., which will begin testing them for Ukraine.
The GLSDB, an evolution of Boeing's GBU-39 guided air bombs, boasts precision and versatility, combining a solid rocket booster from the M26 rocket with advanced targeting systems.
Since 2014, Saab has played a crucial role in collaborating with Boeing on the GLSDB project. This collaboration has resulted in successful tests, emphasizing the cooperation between Saab and Boeing in precision weapon systems. Recent tests in Norway featuring a new solid-fuel rocket engine from Nammo have showcased the GLSDB's extended range capabilities, a critical element for effective defense.
The GLSDB's mobility and user-friendly design make it an ideal fit for Ukraine, with potential deployment on HIMARS/M270 launchers. This development promises to significantly enhance the country's defense capabilities. However, the advanced capabilities of the GLSDB also pose challenges for Russian air defense systems, potentially necessitating strategic adjustments in Russian military resources and deployment.
Boeing's GBU-39, the precursor to the GLSDB, debuted in 2006, boasting a 93 kg warhead with 16 kg of explosives. Its tungsten tip enables penetration of concrete shelters, and it offers air detonation options. With low visibility and unfolding wings, the 130 kg bomb achieves precision at a range of up to 110 km. Accuracy is ensured by onboard inertial channels and GPS, allowing operation in conditions of intense electronic suppression.