Posted 1 декабря 2022, 08:36
Published 1 декабря 2022, 08:36
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
In fact, this is exactly what the company's initiative to send the Ukrainian army loitering GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb) means. However, in addition to testing, there is also a purely commercial idea in the minds of the corporation's management - to compensate for the costs incurred.
And Boeing spent a lot of money. After all, the corporation began developing the GLSDB ground-launched missile system on its own initiative in 2011. Then, after the signing of an international agreement on the ban on cluster weapons, more than 30 thousand pieces of American bombs were left out of work in warehouses around the world. Wings, a guidance system were installed on the unit and the prohibited warhead was changed. But most of it still lies in warehouses.
Even then, the corporation realized that the market is huge, and many, primarily the United States, will want to acquire high-precision ground-launched weapons on the cheap. In 2019, the Swedish group Saab AB joined Boeing's efforts, then the Norwegians. But the Pentagon has continued to bet on new developments in precision-guided weapons by other companies.
The corporation was sad, but the depletion of the arsenals of the West, which was outlined due to the abundant military assistance to Ukraine, forced the US defense department to look for reserves. In addition, Washington is not ready to satisfy Kyiv's request to hand over ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers. In Washington, although they do not publicly recognize it, they are confident that the Ukrainian military will not fail to use them not only against Crimea, but also against important targets located in Central Russia, closer to Moscow. And such use will undoubtedly increase the likelihood of the United States and the West being drawn into an armed conflict with Russia, with all the unpleasant consequences.
Gliding bombs with a range of up to 150 kilometers, according to Washington calculations, will not lead to such a development of events. But doubts still exist, and Washington has taken a break.
In addition, Boeing suggests that the Pentagon repeat the not-so-legal feint, which was already used once to organize urgent deliveries of Harpoon missiles to Kyiv - to refuse to disclose the price, which frees the contractor from the need to conduct a tender.
If the Boeing proposal is approved, then, with the successful use of ammunition, it will be possible to make good money on it. Today, all potential buyers are closely watching the results of the use of this or that weapon in Ukraine. The advertisement is engine of the trade.
Deliveries of GLSDB to Kyiv may begin closer to the spring of next year. The fact is that at the moment only a few pieces have been produced. Although new technologies and components (everything already exists) are not required to establish production, the company will not be able to without the support of the Pentagon and appropriate state investments. In addition, the military department will need to create acceptable conditions for accelerating the work of at least six more suppliers of components and services.
The GLSDB is a modification of the GBU-39 airborne guided bomb that the US Air Force has been using since September 2006. The length of the bomb is 1.8 meters, the diameter of the body is 19 centimeters. It is equipped with wings that unfold in the air, which allow you to glide. The initial horizontal speed of the GBU-39 is equal to the speed of the aircraft at the time of release. If the carrier is a supersonic fighter, then, accordingly, the initial velocity of the ammunition may exceed Mach 2.
In the Ukrainian case, ground-launched munitions, according to the Boeing Corporation, if they do not change the situation at the front, then at least allow an accurate assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of weapons. In addition, an almost two-fold increase in the range of destruction compared to HIMARS MLRS missiles will make it possible to strike at more distant lines of support for Russian troops, as well as on the territory of Crimea.
The combination of a planning 120-kilogram bomb with a solid-propellant engine from an M26 artillery rocket of 227 mm caliber allows you to launch ammunition from the M270 multiple launch rocket system and its variants, as well as from the M142 HIMARS. The United States and its allies have already supplied MLRS of all variants to Ukraine.
At the stage of acceleration, the rocket engine brings the ammunition to the required height and sets the desired flight speed. After the upper stage is separated, the wings open, and the bomb glides towards the target. For guidance, it uses the existing inertial navigation system based on GPS. The ammunition has a high accuracy of hitting. The deviation is about a meter. According to Saab engineers, the ammunition is resistant to interference that can be created by electronic warfare.
A combined penetrating and high-explosive fragmentation warhead is detonated by a programmable electronic fuse. The weapon can be set to detonate above the ground to engage enemy manpower, or with a delay to penetrate deep into fortified targets. The warhead of the GBU-39 is capable of penetrating 90 centimeters of reinforced concrete.
Boeing Corporation conducted its work for six-charge launchers. However, there is another option - nine-meter containers, which can be installed on a flatbed truck. At one time, the corporation offered this method of launching a new ammunition to the armed forces of Finland.