Ukrainian forces’ failure to correctly equip smart bombs and Russian jamming GPS signals are causing American-made weapons to miss their targets.
Written by Kyle Anzalone. Originally published by AntiWar
A high number of American smart bombs are failing to achieve their objective in Ukraine, a Pentagon official told Politico confirming information in documents leaked by Jack Teixeira.
The White House ordered The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) be sent to Ukraine late last year. In March, the Pentagon confirmed the weapon was operational. While the document leaked by Teixeira is undated, it shows that Ukraine fired JDAMS on February 15 and 21.
The JDAM-ER is a kit that attaches to unguided “dumb bombs,” upgrading the weapons into GPs guided “smart bombs” with a range of over 50 miles.
Last week, a highly-classified Pentagon document showed that four out of nine JDAMS fired by Ukrainian pilots missed their targets due to Russian GPs jamming capabilities. The document says that other artillery systems such as the M270 and HIMARs are also being impacted by Moscow’s forces using GPs jamming.
In response to the Russian tactics, the document recommends that Ukrainian forces destroy or disrupt the jammers to the “maximum extent possible before JDAM-ER employments.”
A second issue causing JDAM failures in Ukraine is inappropriately arming the munition.Politico reported an unnamed defense official confirmed “In some cases, the bomb fuzes were not armed when they were released, causing the weapon to fail to detonate.” The official claimed the Ukrainian military put in place safeguards to prevent the mistake from repeating.
It is unclear how many JDAM-ERs the US has sent to Ukraine, the document notes that “1,000 arming lanyards” were provided to Kiev, and Washington planned to send more soon. This suggests that the White House was planning to send more than one thousand of the “smart bomb” kits to Ukraine.
Teixeira was arrested last week and charged under the Espionage Act. The 21-year-old is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira posted the documents in a discord channel.
Many of the documents that Teixeira posted have painted a grim picture of Ukraine’s military abilities, contradicting positive assessments the White House has presented to the American public. While about 50 documents he posted are now publicly available, the Washington Post claims to have viewed hundreds more.