Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, the manufacturer of SPICE, has unveiled a new member of the air-to-surface munition family, with the addition of an integrated turbojet engine at the Aero India exhibition in Bengaluru. Rafael officials also claimed they are ready to offer the SPICE 250ER (Extended Range) to the IAF, which is currently using the Spice 2000 version.
SPICE is a family of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems that strikes targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes, independently of GPS navigation, based on their autonomous electro-optic scene-matching artificial intelligence algorithms.
As per details given by its manufacturer, SPICE 250ER will incorporate a miniature turbojet engine with an internal JP-8/10 fuel system, providing the weapon a range of at least 150km, while retaining the same mission-planning system, aircraft interfaces and aircrew operation.
“SPICE is a combat-proven weapon, with outstanding operational benefits and achievements,” says Alon Shlomi, VP, head of Rafael’s Air-to-Surface system. “The significantly-enhanced stand-off range will enable pilots greater operational maneuverability, safety, and mission assurance.” Shlomi added.
A senior Rafael executive confirmed the develops and said: “We plan to offer the 250 ER in due course of time to the IAF.” However, he also hinted that at present there is no plan to increase the range of the Spice 2000, that India is currently using.
Spice 250 ER comes with the same capabilities as the gliding variant, that includes the recently-unveiled Automatic Target Recognition capability, Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Moving-Target-Detection homing modes, the company said in a statement.
Spice 250 variants comes with the combination of the increased loadout, the unique homing methods for various scenarios, and the extended range enables a high volume, autonomous, precision-strike capability against multiple target types, with assured very low collateral damage, and at a cost-effective price-point.