A new $2.2 billion US arms package for Ukraine includes a new rocket-propelled precision bomb that could nearly double Kyiv’s strike range against the Russians, the Pentagon said Friday.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said the new package includes the ground-launched small-diameter bombs (GLSDB), a munition that can fly up to 150 kilometers (93 miles), threatening Russian positions and depots far behind the front lines.
“This gives them a longer range capability … that will enable them to conduct operations in defense of their country and to take back their sovereign territory,” Ryder said.
Ukraine had been asking the Untied States for munitions that can fly farther than the HIMARS rockets with an 80 kilometer (50 mile) range.
The GLSDB potentially gives Ukraine forces an ability to strike anywhere in the Russian-occupied Donbas, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, and the northern part of occupied Crimea.
That could threaten key Russian supply lines, arms depots and air bases.
Ryder said he did not know how Ukraine planned to use the munition.
The GLSDB, made by Boeing and Saab, is a gliding rocket with a small bomb attached.
Saab says it can hit a target from any angle within one meter.
“The precision of GLSDB is so high it can hit within the radius of a car tire,” Saab said on its website.