The Israeli air force is equipping its strike aircraft with Rafael’s Spice 250 glide bomb, which the company says offers a stand-off range of up to 54nm (100km) by using its deployable wings.
Lockheed Martin F-16s equipped with the manufacturer’s smart quad rack will be able to carry four of the weapons per pylon, allowing each aircraft to engage multiple targets. Maximum load-out on the Boeing F-15 is 28 bombs.
The Spice 250 is provided as a complete system, unlike previous members of the same guided weapons family – which came in kit form for integration with Mk 83 454kg (1,000lb) and Mk 84 908kg “dumb” bombs.
Israel’s air force has used the 908kg version of Spice in combat, and the weapon has a range of over 32nm. The kit adapted for Mk 83 bombs enables a range of over 54nm, with an upgrade effort intended to extend this further.
Rafael says the Spice 250 can be loaded with up to 100 optional targets in a given area. A datalink allows for the impact point to be updated post-release, enabling the weapon to engage time-sensitive and moving ground targets.
After reaching a target area using GPS/INS navigation, the Spice 250’s dual-mode charge-coupled device/imaging infrared seeker enables positive identification – by using a scene-matching algorithm to compare the received electro-optical image with stored mission reference data – and pinpoint accuracy. It also supports battle damage indication needs by transmitting the target image just before impact. Rafael cites a circular error probable figure of less than 3m (9.8ft) for an engagement.
Yuval Miller, executive vice-president and head of Rafael’s Air and C4ISR division, says the Spice 250 has different types of explosives to handle “specific” targets.