by WorldTribune Staff, February 7, 2022
The United States can help Ukraine turn back an invasion by Russia without deploying troops or nuclear weapons, an analyst said.
“By giving Ukraine several hundred BLU-105 bombs, each armed with 40 individually targetable sensor fuzed weapons (SFWs), it is possible to give Ukraine the means to destroy up to thousands of Russian armored systems and essential logistic support vehicles,” Rick Fisher, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, wrote for The Epoch Times on Feb. 5.
The U.S. estimates that more than 100,000 Russian forces are in position along Ukraine’s borders. U.S. officials believe Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has already amassed nearly three-quarters of the total amount of troops he would need for a full-scale attack.
“If the Biden administration truly wanted to give Putin a destabilizing bloody nose without having to deploy thousands of U.S. troops to Europe, while also decreasing Putin’s threat to the Baltic States, Poland, and the survival of the NATO alliance, it would immediately transfer hundreds of BLU-105 sensor fuzed weapons to Ukraine,” Fisher, a contributing editor to Geostrategy-Direct.com, wrote.
SFWs, developed during the 1980s to counter Soviet armored formations that threatened Europe, “are about the size of a Big Mac and combine an infrared/laser sensor with an explosively shaped molten-metal projectile,” Fisher noted.
“With a spin-stabilized body, the sensor searches the battlefield below and can find a hot target like a tank engine, and at the correct altitude, fires the explosively formed molten metal slug at a supersonic speed so that it will penetrate most armor and metal. It could hit a tank’s ammunition and cause an explosion, or slice through the engine and halt the tank or truck.”
During an August 2003 air support sortie as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, one U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber dropped two BLU-105 SFW bombs that “decimated” the first third on an Iraqi tank column, forcing those at the end to surrender to U.S. Marines.
“One issue is that Ukraine would have to use most of its 125 or so combat aircraft to deliver the BLU-105s against Russia’s sophisticated multi-layer missile and anti-aircraft gun air defenses, perhaps the most formidable in the world,” Fisher wrote. “However, when used in coordination with unmanned decoy aircraft or hundreds of loitering munitions, combined with the chaos of the initial stages of the Russian offensive, it is possible that some aircraft will deliver their SFWs and blunt many axes of the Russian attack.”
Unfortunately, Fisher added, “while the U.S. Air Force may retain its inventory of BLU-105 SFW bombs, reports indicate that SFW manufacturer Textron halted their production in 2016 after the Obama administration halted a shipment of 400 to Saudi Arabia. Due to a 15-year campaign by leftist groups, the SFW had been lumped in with cluster munitions, even though the SFW is largely harmless if its hits the ground unfired, whereas there are plenty of other anti-personnel cluster munitions that could cause such unintended harm.”