Russia plans to begin production of a new glide bomb "Drel" in 2024, Russian state-run media TASS reported on Jan. 10, citing Rostec, the Russian state-owned arms manufacturer.
The bombs are designed to be dropped by jets at a safe distance from their targets. The bombs then use a guided flight path to accurately deliver a payload that Western analysts consider to be a cluster munition. Russia already has glide bombs in its arsenal and has used them against Ukraine.
Drel bombs are intended to be used against armored vehicles, ground facilities, and anti-air defenses, TASS reported.
Analysts cited by Reuters said the bombs may be resistant to jamming or radar detection.
Although glide bombs offer pilots the opportunity to drop bombs from a safer position away from air defenses, it does not mean that the jets would be completely removed from danger.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in December that Russia had decreased aviation activity and use of glide bombs after Ukraine’s military shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber jets on Dec. 21-22.