The satellite-guided bombs range as far as 40 miles

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

The Russian air force lobs as many as 3,000 glide bombs at Ukraine each month:

The satellite-guided bombs range as far as 40 miles, meaning Russian fighter-bombers — Sukhoi Su-30s, Su-34s and Su-35s — can release their bombs from beyond the reach of all but the best, and rarest, Ukrainian air defenses.

The 1,100- and 2,200-pound KAB glide bombs are a “miracle weapon” for the Russians, the Ukrainian Deep State analysis group noted. And the Ukrainians have “practically no countermeasures.”


To that end, the Ukrainian air force is transforming its 40 or 50 surviving Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters, and possibly also its dozens of remaining Sukhoi Su-27 fighters, into precision glide bombersr — by arming them with American-made Small Diameter Bombs hanging on improvised pylons.


No one outside of the Pentagon and the Ukrainian air force knew the Ukrainians had the 290-pound SDBs — which range 69 miles under satellite guidance on pop-out wings — until photos appeared online late last month depicting a MiG-29 with six of the diminutive bombs under its wings.


Last year, American, French and Ukrainian technicians worked together to arm Ukrainian MiG-29s and Su-27s with the U.S.-made Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range glide bomb and the French-made Armement Air-Sol Modulaire glide bomb. The JDAM-ER and AASM both weigh around 500 pounds.

The SDB has the advantage of being smaller — and may also boast greater range than either the JDAM-ER and AASM, both of which range around 40 miles under the best conditions. A single MiG or Sukhoi armed with SDSs could strike six targets in a single sortie, and do it from farther away — thus reducing the risk from Russian air defenses.

Equally importantly, the SDB costs just $40,000 per bomb. That’s around the same cost as a JDAM-ER, but a fifth the cost of an AASM.


  1. Adar says:

    “arming them with American-made Small Diameter Bombs hanging on improvised pylons.”

    American SDB? How did they get them?

  2. Lucklucky says:

    They should be able to destroyed them with SAM’s.

  3. Freddo says:

    Ukraine doesn’t have 3000 SAMs/month to trade vs cheap glide bombs. Not seen any figures on how many SDBs and JDAMs Ukraine has / manages to launch, but if the war vs Hezbollah heats up any further they may face increased supply issues.

  4. Carl says:

    What a waste of time when Russia is known to jam the GPS signal of the SDB reducing their effectiveness by 90%.

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