Officials from the Department of Defense expressed concern over a plan to send munitions with a range of 100 miles to Ukraine, according to Foreign Affairs. The Pentagon officials are concerned the weapons will be unneeded by the time they reach the battlefield.
Boeing proposed developing a ground-launched small-diameter bomb (GLSDB) for Kiev. The arms manufacturer believed it could easily put the 250-pound munitions on rockets that could carry the bombs 100 miles.
The Joe Biden administration has previously refused to send any weapons to Ukraine with a range of over 50 miles. The White House expressed concern that longer-range weapons could be used for attacks inside Russian territory and escalate the war.
Though the Department of Defense previously said – to avoid escalating the conflict with Moscow – Washington should not send longer-range weapons to Kiev, Foreign Affairs reported on Thursday, the Pentagon is objecting to the transfer of GLSDB because it believes the munitions will be ineffective by the time they reach the battlefield.
Analysts at the ultra-hawkish think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies estimate it will take nine months before any of the Boeing-made bombs would arrive in Ukraine. The 250-pound bombs need to be fitted onto M26 rocket motors
Despite the Pentagon’s reservations, Kiev is still hoping to receive the guided bombs. Speaking with Foreign Affairs, an unnamed Ukrainian official said, “[h]opefully in the next package we will receive it.”