Ukraine is poised to become the first operator of Boeing’s ground-launched small-diameter bomb (GLSDB) that can hit targets up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) away.
The US is reportedly considering sending the long-range precision bomb to Kyiv to help counter Russian offensives.
The GLSDB would allow Ukrainian troops to strike far behind Russian lines, reducing the possibility of being counterattacked.
It would also enable defending soldiers to hit valuable Russian military targets previously out of reach.
The US has repeatedly rejected requests to send the 300-kilometer (186-mile) Army Tactical Missile System to Kyiv over fears of provoking a wider war with Russia.
Instead, Washington is considering the smaller-range GLSDB to address Ukraine’s request for long-range weapons.
The long-range missile could be delivered to the war-torn nation by 2023, according to documents obtained by Reuters.
Developed in partnership with Saab, the GLSDB is based on Boeing’s air-launched GBU-39 small-diameter bomb.
It has an M26 rocket motor to give it ground launch capability.
According to the developers, the weapon can reverse slope engagements and engage various targets, including hardened facilities and soft assets.
It has an “advanced anti-jam GPS system-aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multi-purpose, penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and programmable electronic fuse.”
Despite the weapon’s long-range capability, Boeing and Saab have yet to find a customer for the GLSDB since last year.