The Indian Air Force is equipping its Su-30MKI combat aircraft with the Israeli Spice-2000 bombs which were used by the force to carry out air strikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp inside Pakistan.
Indian Air Force sources have told Indian media that the force has been successful in doing so due to the exercise GaganShakti held last year where the service drilled carrying out high tempo operations on both possible fronts.
At the moment, the only aircraft which is capable of delivering the bombs on enemy targets is the Mirage 2000. But now the Air Force is putting them on the Su-30s as well to further enhance their firepower.
India had acquired more than 200 of these bombs from Israel a few years back and the Su-30MKI has already carried out trials of launching the Spice-2000 on ground targets.
Once the integration is successful, it would be a big force multiplier for the Indian Air Force as the only planes which can launch these bombs right now are the Mirage 2000s.
The Indian Air Force used the Spice-2000 bombs extensively during the air strikes on Pakistan on 26 February decimating the intended target of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp, in Balakote in Khyber Pakhtunwa province of Pakistan.
The SPICE (Smart Precise Impact and Cost Effective guidance kit) is a forward and tail kit evolved from the proven Popeye missile intended to convert dumb/unguided bombs into smart guided air-to-surface munitions droppable from standoff ranges. It uses an advanced electro-optical guidance system to achieve outstanding precision against high value targets. Moreover, it is a ‘fire and forget’ weapon that automatically goes to its target once launching relying only on its navigation/seeker system. It was developed by Rafael mainly for use in the armed forces of Israel.
The Spice-2000 is a guidance mounted kit mounted on standard 2,000 pounds Mk 84 warhead/bomb. It consists of a forward section kit that homes the sensor package and the control section replacing the tail of standard Mk 84 bomb. All in all, the Spice-2000 has control foreplanes, tail control planes and mid-body control planes totaling 12 control surfaces in three groups of four. The resulting weapon has a range of approximately 60 kilometers with less than 3 meters Circular Error Probable (CEP) and can hit ground target with pinpoint accuracy.
This weapon has day, night and adverse weather capability because of its dual infrared IR/CCD-TV seeker and advanced scene-matching algorithms. At close-in ranges, the weapon recognizes the target and correlates it with the intelligence imagery stored into memory. This capability translates into the ability to overcome target location error and GPS jamming. By the way, the weapon can choose among 100 potential targets and multiple weapons can be released at the same time providing simultaneous attack against various targets located across a given area capability.
The Spice-2000 was designed for easy integration into many single-seat and twin-seat fighting aircraft with minimum aircraft modification, maintenance and crew training in order to operate the weapon. It has been successfully integrated onto the F-15, F-16 and Tornado aircraft. As of 2005, the Spice 2000 precision-guided bomb is in service with the Israeli Air Force F-16 fleet.