Bengaluru: In a move to give more fire power to India’s air defence, Israeli defence major Rafael plans to offer the Indian Air Force its new weapon guidance kit, Spice 250 ER, which has an extended range of at least 150 kilometres.
The new variant from Rafael Advanced Defence Systems (RADS), which was unveiled at the Aero India show in Bengaluru, comes with an additional integrated turbojet engine.
Dubbed Spice 250 ER (Extended Range), the new system is the smallest of the Spice family that includes the Spice 250, Spice 1000 and the Spice 2000 guidance kits.
The IAF had used the Spice 2000 during Balakot air strike in 2019.
“We have unveiled the new extended version for the Spice 250. India currently uses the Spice 2000. However, we plan to offer the 250 ER in due course of time to the IAF,” a senior Rafael executive said.
Asked if there were any plans to extend the range of the Spice 2000, the executive said each system has its unique capabilities.
“They are all part of the Spice family. Each system has its own unique characteristics,” he said, indicating that there were no plans at present to increase the range of the Spice 2000.
Spice is a standoff, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon system that strikes targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes.
The Spice 250 ER will incorporate a miniature turbojet engine with an internal JP-8/10 fuel system, providing the weapon a range of at least 150 km, while retaining the same mission-planning system, aircraft interfaces and air crew operation.
In a statement, the company said the Spice 250 ER features the same capabilities as the gliding variant, including the recently-unveiled ATR (Automatic Target Recognition) capability, Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Moving-Target-Detection homing modes.
The company said the combination of the increased loadout of Spice 250 variants, the unique homing methods for various scenarios, and the extended range enable a high volume, autonomous, precision-strike capability against multiple target types, with assured very low collateral damage and at a cost-effective price.