The United States is considering sending long range rockets as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to drive up demand for American-made weapons and ammunition.
According to a report by Reuters on Monday morning, November 28, the Pentagon is considering a proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs fitted onto abundantly available rockets, allowing Kyiv to strike far behind Russian lines as the West struggles to meet the demand for more weapons.
The report says US and allied military inventories are shrinking, and Ukraine faces an increasing need for more sophisticated arms as the war drags on.
Sources told the publication;
"Boeing’s proposed system, dubbed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), is one of about a half-dozen plans for getting new munitions into production for Ukraine and the US’s Eastern European allies, industry sources said.
GLSDB could be delivered as early as spring 2023, according to a document reviewed by the news agency and three people familiar with the plan. It combines the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the M26 rocket motor, both of which are common in US inventories.
Doug Bush, the US Army’s chief weapons buyer, told reporters at the Pentagon last week the military was also looking at accelerating production of 155mm artillery shells – currently manufactured only at government facilities – by allowing defence contractors to build them.
The invasion of Ukraine drove up demand for American-made weapons and ammunition, while US allies in Eastern Europe are “putting a lot of orders” in for a range of arms as they supply Ukraine, Bush added.
Although a handful of GLSDB units have already been made, there are many logistical obstacles to formal procurement.
The Boeing plan requires a price discovery waiver, exempting the contractor from an in-depth review that ensures the Pentagon is getting the best deal possible. Any arrangement would also require at least six suppliers to expedite shipments of their parts and services to produce the weapon quickly, the report added.