TechUkrainian forces alleged first-time use of US GLSDB missiles against Russian targets

Ukrainian forces alleged first-time use of US GLSDB missiles against Russian targets

GLSDB - Overview Picture
GLSDB - Overview Picture
Images source: © Licensor

4:36 PM EST, February 15, 2024

In February 2023, the United States announced it would transfer GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb) missiles to Ukraine. However, at the time, the rockets were still under production. Politico reported in early January the following year that although the weapon had proven successful in trials, it had still not yet been incorporated into any military's arsenal. It was speculated then that the missile might soon be seen in Ukraine.

Victoria Nuland, the Deputy Head of American diplomacy, substantiated these reports a month later during her visit to Kyiv. She confirmed that the first shipment of these weapons was already en route to the front lines. Currently, there are Russian social media reports suggesting that these weapons have already been used. The assertions were made based on apparent remnants of the GLSDB missile found near Kreminna in the Luhansk region.

GLSDB delivery to Ukraine

The latest model of the GLSDB is a weapon co-developed by Boeing and Saab corporations. It's a ground-launched missile bomb, which combines an aerial bomb with additional aerodynamic surfaces and a rocket engine. Weighing just over 220 lbs, it boasts an estimated 93-99 miles range. Using inertial navigation, the GLSDB's accuracy is believed to be less than one meter. It's worth mentioning that a similar weapon - albeit air-to-ground - is already part of the U.S.'s arsenal. These, however, are not designed for ground launch.

The delivery of these weapons to Ukraine could pose another hurdle for Russia. The Ukrainian Armed Forces can now reach beyond the front lines using mobile rocket artillery systems such as HIMARS. Previously, with the GMLRS rockets, this system allowed targets within a range of 43-53 miles to be hit. According to the Defense Industry Europe service, after their first usage, the Russians were forced to move most of their large warehouses beyond this range, positioning them more than 62 miles from the front. Given the new threat from the GLSDB missiles, they may have to make further adjustments to avoid destruction.

Related content