The new long-range combined weapon includes an air force small-diameter bomb guided by GPS satellites in widespread use and a US Army missile now operated by Ukrainian forces.
Like some other equipment provided by the US and its allies, these weapons will not be deployed in Ukraine any time soon. An industry official said it will take about nine months for the first deliveries after the Air Force agrees to handover.
Patriot missile support equipment will also be part of the latest US weapons package for Ukraine. PHOTO: REUTERS
Funding for these precision-guided missiles comes from the $1.75 billion package of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, scheduled to be announced on February 3.
Boeing’s weapons allocation was initially no more than $200 million, according to an official familiar with the matter. Additional equipment worth $475 million from the U.S. Department of Defense’s existing stockpile for Ukraine will also be announced on Tuesday, including Claymore anti-personnel mines, winter jackets, and ammunition. Excalibur 155mm GPS-guided, Patriot missile support and Mk 153 shoulder-launched rocket launchers. Equipment from existing stockpiles is usually delivered much faster.
Boeing’s new bomb-integrated missile has been tested three times since 2015 in cooperation with defense company Saab AB (Sweden). According to Bloomberg, this will be Boeing’s first arms order.
During one exercise, the missile flew more than 130 km and hit a target within 102 cm of the GPS target. This is nearly double the range of current missiles launched from HIMARS launchers, which are considered valuable assets of Ukrainian forces.