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​PARIS: Rafael talks up hard-hitting ground attack weapons

Israeli defence firm Rafael is reaching the end of the development process for its Spice 250 air-to-ground weapons system.

The first units will be delivered to customers early next year, says Yuval Miller, general manager of the company's Air & C4ISR Systems division.

The weapon carries a warhead in the 250kg (550lb) class and, using winglets, can glide to targets up to 54nm (100km) away from the launch platform.

Four weapons can be deployed from the company's Smart Quad Rack (SQR). By using the SQR, an aircraft such as the Boeing F-15E can carry 28 munitions.

"A four-ship formation of [Lockheed Martin] F-16s can deliver 50 to 100 weapons in one wave," says Miller.

When deployed against a target such as an airfield, the weapons can simultaneously strike a range of key installations, such as radar facilities, aircraft hangars, and other infrastructure. The weapons are co-ordinated through a datalink in the SQR. They also capture imagery of the target the moment before impact, which aids battle damage assessment.

The weapon can be deployed against both land and sea targets in all weather conditions.

Another new weapon Rafael is promoting is its Spike II LR, which it is showing at Paris for the first time.

"Spike II LR is an advanced multipurpose missile, weighing only 12.7kg, designed for modern warfare with almost full commonality to the Spike missile legacy and can be launched from any Spike launcher."

Two warhead options increase its lethality. One is a twin high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that improves armour penetration by 30%. The second is a newly developed blast warhead, with which the gunner can set a controlled fuse for desired effect.

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