Ukraine: New US missile system causes unrest in Russia

The Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb can be fired from HIMARS. This system has already been delivered to Ukraine. (archive image)

The range of the Ukrainian armed forces doubles with the new US missile system. The weapon is a “serious threat,” it says.

The US government’s latest support package for Ukraine is causing unrest in Russia. For the first time, part of the $2.2 billion aid package for Kyiv are missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers that enable attacks on all Russian supply lines in eastern Ukraine and on parts of Russian-occupied Crimea.

The “Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb” is produced by the US aviation group Boeing and the Swedish Saab Group. According to the manufacturer, the weapon can be fired from the MLRS and HIMARS already delivered to Ukraine and is characterized by a low price compared to other missiles.

New US missile system doubles Ukraine’s range

According to the manufacturer, another decisive advantage of the weapon is that it is not fired in a ballistic trajectory, but simply lifted by its launcher, then decouples and glides to the target. According to the manufacturer, the bomb can even change direction and hit targets hidden behind ridges.

In Russia, the delivery has apparently been carefully noted. The new bombs, which are being used for the first time in a war, are a “serious threat”, the state-affiliated Russian news agency TASS quotes the head of the “Center for the Development of Transport Technologies”, Alexei Rogozin.

Unrest in Russia over new missile system: “It’s a powerful weapon”

It is particularly threatening that the missile “is a ‘cold body’ in the final phase of the flight”, which makes it difficult for air defense systems to detect it. The small size of the projectile also poses problems for radar systems, Rogozin explained. A “high series production” also ensures a low price. “It’s a powerful weapon.”

Russian politicians also reacted to the US announcement. If Ukraine were to attack “Russian territory” with weapons, negotiations would be made impossible, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, threatened. Moscow has considered Crimea its own territory since annexing it in 2014.

Moscow responds with threats to extend Ukraine’s reach

“The result will be exactly the opposite. In this case, there will be no negotiations – only retaliation,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by several Russian media outlets. All of Ukraine will “go up in flames”.

Such threats had already come from Moscow in response to previous arms deliveries from the West. President Vladimir Putin also threatened to give an “answer” on the February 2 commemoration of the Battle of Stalingrad, referring to the latest arms shipments from the West.

US media: It could be months before the “GLSDP” is delivered

The US delivery of the long-range missiles follows a decision by some western countries to supply main battle tanks to Ukraine. Together with US President Joe Biden, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also decided to send Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine. The Americans want to send their Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Kyiv had hoped for “ATACMS” missiles that could cover even greater distances – the “GLSDB” are now seen as a compromise. The new missiles have doubled the previous range of the Ukrainian armed forces.

As with the Abrams, however, the “GLSDB” is not supplied from US stocks, but is ordered from the manufacturer for the Ukraine. According to US media reports, it could be a few months before American tanks and long-range missiles arrive in Ukraine. (the)


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