The US gave Ukraine glide bombs — but they keep missing because Russia is so good at jamming them

The US gave Ukraine glide bombs — but they keep missing because Russia is so good at jamming them
  • Ukraine's US-provided glide bombs are struggling against Russian electronic jamming.

  • Ukraine received the bombs in February in hopes of hitting longer-range targets.

  • But Russian electronic warfare has blunted the effectiveness of the US-supplied munitions.

Ukraine's US-provided glide bombs are struggling against sophisticated Russian electronic jamming, Reuters reported.

The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb is a relatively new guided bomb with a range of about 100 miles thanks to small wings that extend from its body.

Ukraine received the bombs in early February after months of requesting long-range munitions in the hope of striking distant, strategic targets in places like Crimea.

But three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the bombs' guidance systems are running into Russian jamming, causing many of the launches to miss their targets.

Boeing and Saab, the weapon's developers, had previously touted its high precision combined with its longer range.

In 2022, marketing materials for the bomb said its navigation system is "supported by a highly jamming resistance GPS."

Representatives for Boeing didn't reply to Reuters and declined to comment in response to Business Insider's request. Saab did not immediately respond to BI.

Russia's advanced electronic-warfare capabilities have proved to be a headache for Ukraine's munitions during the war.

Jamming is when a device's GPS signal is overwhelmed with stronger, false signals, disrupting its navigation.

In late April, William LaPlante, the US undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, discussed a US-supplied precision weapon that had suffered failings in Ukraine, in part because of electronic warfare.

He didn't name the weapon, but Defense One reported that it was likely the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb.

Russian jamming has blunted the impact of several weapons that were initially highly effective for Ukraine, including the HIMARS-launched Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System and Joint Direct Attack Munitions.

In March, reports emerged that Russia's evolving electronic-warfare systems greatly reduced the efficiency of GPS-guided Excalibur artillery shells.

Jamming is also a very inexpensive tactic. The software is relatively cheap and can help take out munitions that cost tens of thousands of dollars, Defense One reported.

Defense experts have said that Russia's capabilities in this increasingly vital area now far exceed those of the US.

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