Israel Extends SPICE Family of Air-Launched EO Guided Weapons

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    Rafael's Spice 1000 guided weapon carries a 500 kg (1,000 pound) Mk 83 warhead. It is capable of attacking targets at ranges extended beyond 60 km. Photo: Rafael

    Rafael’s Spice 1000 guided weapon carries a 500 kg (1,000 pound) Mk 83 warhead. It is capable of attacking targets at ranges extended beyond 60 km. Photo: Rafael

    The Israeli Air Force (IAF)  has a proven capability to attack targets from standoff range. One such weapon is the Spice weapon guidance kit developed by the country’s leading missile developer RAFAEL. i-hls reports.

    The guidance kit has become more lethal and can now be used in a “variety” of attack techniques to achieve maximum impact in a short time. The locally produced Spice is now one of the “main systems” in the Inventory of the IAF, along with GPS-guided JDAM and laser guided bombs imported from the US. The kit has also been exported to a number of airforces that are using it on some of their bombs.

    Spice has been adapted to a number of standard warheads, from Mk-84/BLU-109 (900 kg, 2000 lbs), Mk-83/BLU-110 (450 kg, 1000 lbs) general purpose bombs. The weapon has recently been adapted now to 113 kg (250 lbs) pound small smart bombs (SSB) that are increasingly preferred by airforces due to their lower collateral damage.

    The kit uses an imaging seeker for navigation and terminal homing. The system uses image matching techniques giving the weapon a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of less than three meters. Spice can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area. In addition to the passive image-based navigation the kit also includes Global Positioning Satellite / Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) navigation for reference and backup. But the main sensor of the Spice is the CCD/IIR dual seeker that provides pinpoint accuracy and positive target identification and according to Rafael , overcomes target location error and GPS jamming. The Kit’s automatic target acquisition capability is based on a unique scene-matching technology that can handle scenery changes, counter-measures, navigation errors and target location errors. The technology is based on the continuous comparison of  a real-time image received from the dual CCD/IIR seeker with a reference image stored in the weapon’s computer.

    The basic kit includes a strap-on forward guidance section and fixed, stubby wings and tail fins aft of the main charge, heaviest Spice uses the MK-84 (2000 pounds) general purpose bomb, with a flatter trajectory the Spice kit extends the weapon’s range beyond 60 km. This version is operational in the israeli airforce and was used in combat. Another kit has been adapted to Mk-83 (1000 pounds) bombs, featuring a wing-set that further extends the weapon range beyond 100 km. The Spice’s deployable wings allow an aircraft to carry more bombs. The latest addition of the SSB type weapon enables a single F-16 to carry up to 16 small smart bombs.

    Source: i-HLS ISRAEL Homeland Security 

    This scene matching example shows the correlation between the target pointed by the reference image (left) and the target picked by the weapon's computer during a flight test. Photo: RAFAEL

    This scene matching example shows the correlation between the target pointed by the reference image (left) and the target picked by the weapon’s computer during a flight test. Photo: RAFAEL

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