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Saab Global

GLSDB delivers on the needs of today

6 min read

Within today’s modern warfare, the importance of a well-equipped artillery has made its mark. Enemy drones are pushing artillery deployment areas further back which means that the demand for artillery with longer range has increased. Range for artillery is a driver for a high cost and in this stage when armies have big holes to fill, cost effectiveness is key. GLSDB is the missile system that has the most superior range vs cost ratio out there. GLSDB with its 150 km range gives armies the possibility to strike high pay-off targets in a with 1 m accuracy deep into enemy territory to a lower cost than all other system.

Today’s ground forces are being exposed to threats from all directions. The need of weapons and ammunition that is versatile, easily transportable and agile to meet the multiple demands of modern warfare is increasing. "Over 10 years ago, we put the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), originally developed for fighter jets, to the test together with Boeing to adapt it for ground use, making it available for artillery," explains Morten Jensen, Marketing and Sales Director at Swedish defence contractor Saab. "Why? Because we saw a need for a simplified artillery solution with long range and high precision" The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) has a range of up to 150 kilometres, allowing it to be deployed against enemy targets or troops from a long distance. The low cost is because of the integration of two combat-proven systems: Boeing's Small Diameter Bomb I and the M26 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) rocket. Saab has developed a stand-alone launcher for GLSDB that can be mounted on any truck using 20” flatbed system or in a container solution.

Interference-resistant, agile

With missiles fired from a greater distance, the risk of enemy detection and interference particularly increases. However, the GLSDB long-range precision bomb is highly engineered: "In all tests, as well as in actual use, it is first-class when it comes to susceptibility to interference," Mr Jensen explains. GLSDBs are a reliable resource on the battlefield. Innovative technology ensures that. By using the combat-proven SDB I, GLSDB can offer a unique capability with technology that’s tested and verified by U.S. Air Force. These mechanisms, coupled with security protocols and advanced communications technology, ensure continuity of operations with GLSDBs, even in GPS-denied areas.

GLSDB on other launcher platforms

Additionally, it is possible to integrate the GLSDB on a wide variety of launcher platforms. These includes HIMARS, M270 launchers and Chunmoo systems. These combination options not only conserve resources for armed forces, but also increase the capabilities of existing systems. In case of HIMARS and M270, GLSDB could work as an alternative for ammunition, enabling increased range and reducing the risk to be targeted by enemy counter battery units or drones.


Flexible engagement

The GLSDB missile can perform target engagement from a 360-degree arc. That means that GLSDB can manoeuvre to the target and without the need of a direct ballistic line from the launcher to the target. It does so by unfolding wings at apogee and then glide towards its programmed target settings which position even could be to the sides or behind the launcher compared to the firing direction.

Integrated high-precision GPS system supported by an inertial navigation system ensure the necessary accuracy. Above all, while wind and weather influence the missile's course, the GPS navigation systems can correct this, ensuring maximum precision (less than 1 m). GLSDB have a higher probability to destroy targets by having the ability of impacting the same target by several missiles that engages from different azimuths and angles. This raises the difficulties for enemy Close-In Support Weapon Systems trying to defend its units. The SDB also comes in a version using a laser-based target seeker, this could also be used as a GLSDB configuration, which would enable engagement of moving targets and further contribute to precise targeting.

Pushing back the enemy

Even though modern warfare is carried out on multiple domains simultaneously, ground offensives are still particularly effective and often decisive for war efforts. To best protect troops and civilians living in crisis areas, it is essential to push the enemy and its bases back as far as possible from the front line – with minimal collateral damage. Morten Jensen knows that "precision-guided missiles will play an important part in any counteroffensive in the future, as they open up the possibility of striking high pay-off targets from a distance and subsequently forcing the enemy to move their units and ammunition stockpiles farther away, thereby weakening supply lines and the ability to operate as a combined armed force."

Firepower is also crucial for ground combat. The ability to launch multiple missiles within a short period of time, to neutralise multiple targets with near-simultaneous effects, holds enormous potential. GLSDBs are not only accurate, but they also have high impact power and can penetrate caves or underground hiding places since the weapon is equipped with a multi-purpose warhead featuring explosive and fragmentation effects. There is also a laser variant that is particularly well suited for engaging mobile targets. A programmable impact and delay fuse ensures deep penetration or even close-range firing.


Cost efficiency is becoming increasingly crucial

Precision-guided missiles were originally designed as air-launched solutions, but are now being more and more considered as an all-round talent on the ground. This is not the first time that Saab has adapted existing systems for other domains, thus creating added value: "Since we are very well positioned in all domains, we can use synergies and apply existing knowledge to other areas. As part of our development work, we are always looking very closely at what is already available, what can be adapted and what proven capabilities and technologies we can transfer to new systems," says Morten Jensen, Marketing and Sales Director at Saab.

In an uncertain world, where military budgets needs to be distributed within several important areas makes cost-efficient alternatives more relevant. Weapon systems such as GLSDB will therefore continue to be developed in the future, as a wide range of applications play a key role in accomplishing missions. Systems such as GLSDB are certainly one of the most flexible and efficient solutions for armed forces seeking an affordable, high-precision, long-range solution.

Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

Ground-Launched long range fires capability

The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) is a high-precision long-range ammunition designed for the modern battlefield. This solution can be launched from a variety of platforms and is supplied with a wide range of warheads. GLSDB brings a new dimension to the capabilities of the armed forces.

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