100 Mile Strike Weapon weighs heavily on Ukraine as arms makers wrestle with demand

100 Mile Strike Weapon weighs heavily on Ukraine as arms makers wrestle with demand

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Karako also noted that the US exit from Afghanistan left plenty of air-dropped bombs available. They cannot easily be used with Ukrainian aircraft, but “in today’s context we must look for new ways to turn them into standoff capability.”

Although a handful of GLSDB units have already been built, there are several logistical barriers to formal procurement. The Boeing plan required a price discovery waiver, which exempts the contractor from an in-depth review that ensures the Pentagon is getting the best possible deal. Any arrangement would require at least six suppliers to ramp up shipments of their parts and services to quickly produce the weapon.

A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cdr. Tim Gorman declined to comment on providing any “specific capabilities” to Ukraine, but said the US and its allies “identify and consider the most appropriate systems” that would help Kyiv.

Although the United States has rejected requests for a 185-mile (297 km) range ATACMS missile, the GLSDB’s 94-mile (150 km) range would allow Ukraine to hit valuable military targets that fell out of reach. and help keep its counter-attack going. disrupting Russian rear areas.

The GLSDB is jointly built by SAAB AB and The Boeing Company and has been in development since 2019 before the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation”. In October, SAAB chief executive Michael Johansson said of the GLSDB: “We’re hoping to have a contract on that soon.”

According to the document – ​​a Boeing proposal to the US European Command (EUCOM), which is overseeing the weapons move to Ukraine – the GLSDB’s core components will come from current US stores.

The M26 rocket motor is relatively abundant, and the GBU-39 costs about $40,000 each, making the entire GLSDB cheap and its core components readily available. Although arms manufacturers are struggling with demand, these factors make production of the weapon possible as early as 2023, albeit at a reduced rate of production.

According to SAAB’s website, the GLSDB is GPS-guided, can defeat some electronic jamming, is usable in all weather conditions, and can be used against armored vehicles. The GBU-39 – which will act as the GLSDB’s warhead – has small, folded wings that allow it to glide over 100 km when dropped from an aircraft and is as small as 3 feet in diameter.

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