The Pentagon is reportedly considering a proposal to supply Kiev's forces with cheap precision munitions
The Pentagon is reportedly considering an offer from Boeing to mass-produce cheap precision bombs for Ukraine using existing US stores, as Washington and its allies struggle to keep up with Kiev's military aid requirements.
According to Reuters, Boeing has proposed supplying Ukraine's forces with the so-called Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) system, which would pair the $40,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the relatively abundant M26 rocket motor. The weapon has been in development since 2019.
In a document seen by the outlet, the manufacturer claims the availability of the necessary components would enable it to produce the ordnance and start delivering it to Ukraine as early as spring 2023.
However, there are still logistical obstacles to overcome, as at least six suppliers would have to expedite shipment of parts in order to produce the weapons quickly. Boeing's plan also asks for a price discovery waiver, which would exempt the contractor from an in-depth review to ensure the Pentagon is getting a fair deal.
According to the website of SAAB AB, which manufactures the weapon together with Boeing, the GPS-guided GLSDB is capable of striking targets at a range of up to 150 kilometers, which would potentially allow Kiev to strike Russian forces far beyond the front line.
While both the US military and Boeing have declined to comment on the report, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman told Reuters that Washington and its allies "identify and consider the most appropriate systems" that would help Kiev. He refused to elaborate on providing any "specific capability" to Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its NATO allies against supplying weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it only serves to prolong the conflict and could eventually lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the West.
As countries like the US and UK have made more advanced weapon systems available to Kiev's forces, capable of reaching deep behind the front lines, the Kremlin has described the ongoing conflict as nothing short of a proxy war against NATO. President Vladimir Putin has also stated Russia is fighting "the entire Western military machine."