(Moscow) The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that it shot down an American long-range GLSDB rocket, the first confirmation that these munitions have been delivered to Ukraine, which considers them crucial to launch its next counter-offensive.

“ The anti-aircraft defense […] shot down 18 rockets of the Himars system and one guided rocket GLSDB ”, the ministry said in its daily statement about these guided bombs with a range of up to 150 km, promised to Kyiv by the United States in early February.

The GLSDB (for “Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb” in English) are small-diameter, high-precision devices manufactured by the American Boeing and the Swedish Saab. They can fly up to 150 km and thus threaten Russian positions, especially ammunition warehouses, far behind the front lines.

Ukraine has insisted that it needs such ammunition to destroy Russian supply lines and thus overcome its manpower and ammunition deficit in preparation for its announced counter-offensive to repel Russian forces occupying large parts of the south and the west. eastern Ukraine.

The delivery in June 2022 to the Ukrainian army of Himars high-precision mobile rocket launcher systems with ammunition with a range of some 80 km had enabled Ukraine to ravage the rear of the Russian army, opening the way to counter-offensives that led to the reconquest of large territories in the south and north-east of the country between September and November.

To respond to the Himar threat, the Russian forces extended their supply lines, in particular moving their arms and ammunition warehouses away from the front.

Westerners have been reluctant to provide longer-range systems, fearing they could be used to strike Russian territory and cause an escalation.

Kyiv has, for its part, repeatedly promised that it will only use it to attack targets in occupied territory.

The United States finally announced on February 3 that it would provide GLSDBs to Ukraine, but the delivery schedule had not been announced, with some sources estimating that several months were needed before deployment in the field.