By Arie Egozi
The Rafael Spice-250 gliding bomb enabled the Israeli Airforce (IAF) to hit moving Iranian targets in recent attacks in Syria. Among these were a mobile command unit of armed UAS that minutes before tried to enter the Israeli airspace and shot down.
The new version of this advanced air-ground weapons system enables a very short sensor-to-shooter time. Unlike the previous members of the Spice family that came in the kit form, attached to 1000- and 2000-pounds bombs, this time the Israeli company is supplying a complete system.
The Rafael Spice 250 can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area. The image matching sensor of the Spice gives it a CEP of less than 3 meters. Its deployable wings allow an aircraft to carry more bombs.
The weapon is navigated by a GPS/INS Satellite/Inertial Navigation system.
The INS is used both as an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and as a sensor device for weapon angular position and motion. The GPS receiver serves as a backup for the INS and reduces drift by including GPS inputs in navigation calculations.
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.
According to Rafael, the Spice 250 achieves an extended standoff range of up to 100 kilometers using its deployable wings.
Spice 250 enables impact point update after release, using its communication module. In addition, it provides Battle Damage Indication (BDI) capability, by transmitting the target image just before hit.
The Israeli company says that these capabilities, along with airborne Mission Planning, provide a comprehensive solution for Time-Sensitive-Targets, land moving and maritime targets.
Spice 250 weapon is released outside the threatened area, and performs midcourse navigation autonomously using its INS/GPS.
While approaching the target, Spice 250 scene-matching algorithm compares the electro-optical image received in real time via the weapon seeker with mission reference data stored in the weapon computer memory.
To load the Spice 250 on an F-16 special Rafael Smart-Quad-Rack (SQR) racks are attached to the aircraft’s pylons. Each such rack is loaded with 4 Spice 250.
An F-15 can carry 28 bombs of this type. This allows each aircraft to handle multiple targets.
Yuval Miller, Executive VP and Head of Air and C4ISR Division, said that the Spice 250 has different types of explosives to handle “specific” targets.
The new version of Spice was designed as full system and not a kit as there are now 250 pounds “Dumb Bombs” that could have been upgraded with the attachment of a kit.