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Ukraine forces use GLSDB precision guided bomb to destroy Russian 2S Nona-S mortar carriers

On March 26, 2024, a video was posted on Facebook by Mykola Kolesnyk, commander of the Ukrainian aerial reconnaissance unit known as "LUFTWAFFE." The video showcases the successful engagement of a Russian 2S9 Nona-S self-propelled mortar at a distance of 13 kilometers in the Zaporizhzhia sector, using an American Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB). The precision of the strike resulted in the explosion of one self-propelled mortar and the burning of another, neutralizing a threat to the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
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Ukraine forces destroy 2S9 Nona-S mortar carriers with GLSDB precision strike (Picture source: Facebook by Mykola Kolesnyk and Army Recognition)

In January 2023, credible American sources announced the impending delivery of the GLSDB to Ukraine, a statement officially confirmed shortly thereafter. The delivery of this high-precision munition, capable of striking deep behind enemy lines, was scheduled for late 2023 or early 2024. On January 30, 2024, Politico reported that the first GLSDBs had been delivered to Ukraine, according to four involved sources. Confirmation of this delivery came on February 14, 2024, when a video filmed in the Kremina region showed debris from a Small Diameter Bomb, confirming its use in the field.

Developed jointly by Boeing and Saab, the GLSDB combines the propulsion of the M26 rocket with the gliding GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), offering increased precision and an extended range of up to 150 kilometers. This 250-pound class munition is equipped with an advanced guidance system, significantly reducing collateral damage and enabling precise strikes in all weather conditions. It can be launched from various platforms, including HIMARS and MLRS systems, enhancing the flexibility and effectiveness of forces on the battlefield.

The GLSDB's capability to strike targets in 360 degrees and to make directional changes to avoid obstacles or enemy-protected zones provides a significant tactical advantage. Furthermore, the munition can be programmed for different explosion modes, maximizing damage against fortified or moving targets.

The adoption of the GLSDB by the Ukrainian Armed Forces marks a significant milestone in their ability to conduct offensive and defensive operations against Russian forces. This advanced munition allows Ukraine to reach and neutralize strategic targets far beyond the front lines, offering a considerable advantage in terms of range and precision.

Deployment of the GLSDB in the Ukrainian theater of operations significantly increases the operational range of Ukrainian forces, allowing them to strike targets located up to 150 kilometers away with surgical precision. This opens up the possibility of targeting critical infrastructure, command and control centers, and concentrations of enemy forces without exposing Ukrainian units to direct counterattacks. By disrupting enemy logistics and cohesion, the GLSDB contributes to eroding the combat capability and morale of Russian troops on the ground.

Additionally, the unit cost of a GLSDB is estimated at $40,000, making it a cost-effective option compared to other munitions. For comparison, the unit cost of the ATACMS is estimated at over $1 million.


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