The US is considering supplying Ukraine with a new longer-range rocket system that can hit targets up to about 100 miles away, twice the range of the artillery systems the US has been providing Ukraine.
According to a report from Reuters, Boeing has proposed to manufacture small precision-guided bombs that can be fit onto widely available rockets as US weapons makers are struggling to ramp up production of more advanced arms.
Boeing said in its proposal that the system, known as Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), could be delivered to Ukraine as early as spring 2023. The system has been in development since 2019 and combines small-diameter bombs with the M26 rocket motor, which is widely available in US military inventories.
Boeing’s proposal is just one idea being mulled by the US to get new weapons for Ukraine, as the policy of shipping tens of billions in arms to the country has been a boon for the defense industry.
The Boeing plan would require waiving a mechanism that is in place to make sure the US government is getting a fair price. It would also mean that the main components for the GLSDBs would come from US military stockpiles, and other necessary parts would need to be expedited.
The longest-range rocket system that the US has sent Ukraine so far is the HIMARS, which are currently equipped with munitions that can hit targets up to 50 miles. The GLSDB would be viewed as a significant escalation by Moscow as it would give Ukraine the ability to strike deep behind Russian lines.