SPICE 2000 on F-16.
(photo credit: RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS)
Lockheed Martin and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop, market, manufacture and support the Israeli company’s “Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective” (SPICE) stand-off weapon guidance kits.
The agreement covers kit variants SPICE 1000 (1,000 pound/454 kg. weight class) and SPICE 2000 (2,000 pound/907 kg. weight class) that convert unguided bombs into precision guided bombs, which pilots can launch from outside a threatened area.
The SPICE 1000 kit has a stand-off range of 100 km. while the 2000 kit has a stand-off range of 59 km.
SPICE is a stand-off, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems, capable of destroying targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes in a GPS-denied environment.
“Access to GPS is becoming increasingly limited in contested environments,” said Yuval Miller, executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Division. “SPICE provides a solution to this challenge. Finalizing this exclusive agreement sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems to enhance mission flexibility and success.”
The missile uses a state-of-the-art electro-optical seeker with unique scene-matching algorithms, navigation guidance and homing techniques to achieve operational missions in adverse weather without GPS.
The SPICE missile can also overcome GPS jamming, and its mission profile can be set to a specific impact angle to suit the target profile, such as a steep dive angle for deep penetration of a target.
“SPICE offers the US Department of Defense and many allies a capability that no other weapon currently in inventory provides,” said John Varley, vice president of Close Combat Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “By applying our expertise in aircraft integration, mission planning and tail-kit design, along with our experience in affordable streamlined production, we will adapt SPICE to meet US standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.”
Combat proven and integrated on Israeli F-16C/D fighter jets and the Saab Gripen E., according to reports, the SPICE will be integrated on F-35s both in Israel and around the world, as well as on the new Brazilian Gripen NG fighter jets.
According to Indian media, the Indian Air Force struck at terrorists based in Pakistan on February 26 using the SPICE missile. According to Flight Global, the Spice 1000 precision-guided bombs were to be supplied to India for 36 French Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft along with SPICE 250, which was to be used for India’s Tejas jets. This was part of a larger evaluation by India of Rafael, including its Python 5, I-Derby ER air-to-air missiles and Litening 5 targeting pod. India was also exploring Rafael’s BNET secure radio solutions.
Over 60% of SPICE is already manufactured in eight US states.
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