Gliding Bomb War: Russia Can launch a Hundred a Day

Ukraine has sought to counter this threat, initially with the acquisition of JDAM gliding bombs from the United States and more recently with French Hammers, although aid has faced domestic political obstacles in the US.

In the context of the prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the air forces of both nations have intensified their operations, evidencing significant progress in the application of air strategies and the use of cutting-edge technology. This dynamic has become especially relevant throughout the two years of hostilities, extending along a 600-mile front.

Standing out in this scenario, Russia’s Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers, escorted by Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, have notably increased their activity, executing one hundred or more missions daily. Using satellite-guided KAB glide bombs, these aircraft have managed to hit Ukrainian targets 25 miles away, thus facilitating the ground advance of Russian forces.

On the contrary, the mastery of aerial precision is not exclusive to Russia. Recently, Ukraine has begun deploying hammer-gliding bombs of French origin to hit Russian positions located 40 miles away. However, the number of bombs dropped by Ukraine does not reach the volume necessary for a decisive strategic effect, a situation that will persist as long as the United States maintains a stance of direct non-intervention in the conflict.

Reflection of an aerial fight: Progress and challenges

Last Saturday, Ukraine released images captured by drones that possibly recorded the first use of Hammer weapons against Russian forces in Avdiivka, a town that fell under Russian control after intense bombing. This fact underlines the growing importance of drone warfare and aerial intelligence in the conflict.

In turn, a second attack was documented on Monday, demonstrating the application of these weapons against a Russian logistics depot, evidencing the adaptability and rapid response of the Ukrainian forces when integrating these bombs into their aerial arsenal, especially in models such as the Sukhoi Su -27 and Mikoyan MiG-29, thanks to technical assistance from France.

Innovation and Resistance in the Ukrainian Air Arsenal

Gliding Bomb War
AASM (Modular Air-Ground Armament, modular air-tier armament) HAMMER (modular modular ammunition with extended range). (Photo by Safran)

The Russian air campaign, despite its high cost, has proven to be a critical factor on the battlefield, with statements from Ukrainian fighters testifying to the devastating effect of Russian bombs. However, Ukraine has sought to counter this threat, initially with the acquisition of JDAM gliding bombs from the United States and more recently with the French Hammers, although the aid has faced domestic political obstacles in the US.

The limitation on the supply of these critical weapons to Ukraine highlights the disparity vis-à-vis the Russian arsenal, highlighting the need for greater international assistance to level the playing field in this aspect of the conflict.

This detailed analysis of the use and evolution of the air war between Russia and Ukraine highlights the complexity of the current conflict, where air superiority and the effective use of advanced technologies can determine the course of operations on the ground in a scenario where innovation and adaptability emerge as keys to success.

Air and artillery superiority: A constant challenge for Ukraine

Gliding Bomb War: Russia Can launch a Hundred a Day
Su-34

The disparity in terms of fire capacity between the Russian and Ukrainian forces is palpable, especially standing out in the air domain and in the field of artillery. The decision by Republicans in the United States to halt military assistance during the fall has had a significant impact, leaving Ukraine without crucial supplies of hundreds of thousands of artillery shells.

This situation has forced Ukrainian artillery units to limit their operations to 2,000 shots per day, a figure notably lower than the 10,000 projectiles that Russian forces can deploy in the same period.

This juncture underscores an inescapable truth for those seeking to counter Russian aggression: the strategic importance of the United States, with its robust economy and advanced defense infrastructure, is irreplaceable.

Although nations such as France, the Czech Republic and other European allies have demonstrated their willingness to provide Ukraine with the types of ammunition required for its defense, the reality is that the magnitude of this support does not reach the necessary levels, nor does it materialize as quickly. It is required without US backing.

This scenario underscores the need for closer and more effective collaboration among Ukraine’s allies to overcome logistical and supply constraints, ensuring that Ukrainian forces can sustain and enhance their response capabilities against an adversary that has a significant advantage in terms of firepower.

The lesson is clear: international cooperation and unconditional support are essential to balance forces on the battlefield and provide Ukraine with the tools necessary to defend its sovereignty in the face of foreign aggression.