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Russia to mass-produce new aerial bombs for strikes on Ukraine – ISW

Monday, 11 March 2024, 04:40
Russia to mass-produce new aerial bombs for strikes on Ukraine – ISW
Soviet-era FAB-500 high-explosive air-dropped bomb. Stock photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin, Wikipedia

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have suggested that Russia will pursue mass production of advanced guided glide bombs (GGBs) to expand their use across the entire war theatre in Ukraine.

Source: ISW

Details: A Ukrainian military official has confirmed that Russian forces are targeting Ukraine with advanced GGBs.

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Captain Dmytro Lykhovii, spokesperson for the Tavriia Operational and Strategic Group of Ukrainian Forces (OSGF), reported on 10 March that Russian troops had struck the town of Myrnohrad (Donetsk Oblast) with three universal interspecific glide munitions (UMPB D-30SN), which the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office had initially misidentified as S-300 missiles.

Lykhovii added that the UMPB D-30SN advanced GGBs are essentially a retrofitted version of the Soviet-era FAB unguided bombs.

The report noted that Russian troops had previously used unguided glide bombs back in January 2024.

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Furthermore, ISW has recently observed Russian military bloggers claiming that Russian forces have started to use FAB UMPB bombs, as opposed to using unguided gliders with unified planning and correction modules (UMPCs), in certain areas of Ukraine.

These bloggers also claimed that Russian forces could launch UMPB guided glide bombs from aircraft and ground-based multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) such as the Tornado-S and Smerch.

Therefore, analysts believe Russian forces are likely to pursue mass production of UMPB GGBs and expand their use throughout the entire war zone in Ukraine.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 10 March:

  • A Ukrainian military official confirmed that Russian forces are conducting strikes in Ukraine with improved guided glide bombs.
  • Russian sources reported that the Russian military command has replaced Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov with Northern Fleet Commander Admiral Alexander Moiseev as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy.
  • Russian occupation authorities opened early voting in occupied Ukraine for Russia’s presidential election on 10 March that will last until 14 March.
  • Chechen officials organised a march in Grozny, Chechnya, on 10 March in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s candidacy in the upcoming March presidential election.
  • Over 1,000 civilian ships have transited Ukraine’s "grain corridor" in the Black Sea despite persistent Russian efforts to undermine international confidence in the corridor.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a state honour to a prominent Russian ultranationalist — who is an active supporter of imprisoned former officer and ardent ultranationalist Igor Girkin — likely as part of an ongoing Kremlin campaign to coopt the critical military blogger community.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and Avdiivka amid continued positional engagements along the entire frontline on 10 March.
  • Prominent Russian ultranationalists praised Russian volunteers and mobilised personnel on 10 March, likely to assuage continued concerns among these personnel in spite of their improper and inequal treatment in the Russian military. 

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