Ukraine Makes First Ever Use of New American JDAM Smart Bombs on Battlefield - Reports

The Ukrainian armed forces have reportedly made their first ever deployment of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guided "smart bomb," which was employed near the frontlines in Bakhmut where ongoing fighting has been among the fiercest in over a year of war with Russia. The use of the new bomb was reported by Ukrainian media outlets on March 10. This followed reports from December from a range of American media outlets that the White House was planning to supply such armaments to the Eastern European country, as part of a significant broadening from that time in the kinds of armaments being provided. The use of such weapons relies heavily on the tremendous support provided by some of the hundreds of Western satellites supporting Ukraine’s war effort, including provision of targeting data and facilitating of precision guided attacks.

Should the JDAM be confirmed to have been employed, a significant possibility remains that it was operated either by or with extensive support from Western personnel on the ground. A vast network of serving members of Western militaries and intelligence agencies within Ukraine has provided key support to maximise the utility from newly supplied armaments, as reported by the New York Times among others in June 2022. Furthermore, both ex military volunteers from Western counties, and very large numbers of ex military contractors, have participated and often have the benefits of extensive training to use the latest equipment including guided weapons. These personnel are reported to be playing a key role in allowing Ukraine to absorb new more complex kinds of armaments into its military.

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