Rafael Advanced Defence Systems’ Spice 250 precision-guided stand-off glide munition is expected to be declared operational in 2019, following the scheduled conclusion of the programme’s Full Scale Development (FSD) phase later this year.
The company successfully completed a number of system trials against static targets in 2017; these were followed, earlier this year, by a more challenging series of shots against moving targets on land, naval targets, and time-critical targets, which were also completed successfully. In both trials programme, the release platform was an IAF F-16I multirole fighter aircraft.
The launch customer for the Spice 250 is the Israel Air Force (IAF), which already operates – and has combat proven – the heavier Spice 1000 and Spice 2000 stand-off strike weapons. In parallel, the company is already under contract to supply “a significant quantity of units for several other undisclosed customers”, Yuval Miller, executive vice-president and head of Rafael’s air and C4I systems division told Jane’s . Miller said Rafael has already established the Spice 250 production line to provide for the contracts, including the initial contract with the IAF.
Unlike the heavier Spice (Smart, Precise-Impact and Cost-Effective) family variants – Spice 1000 and Spice 2000, which are essentially electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) guidance and target acquisition add-on kits for 1,000 lb and 2,000 lb general-purpose and penetration warheads – Spice 250 is an all-up weapon system. Weighing 250 lb (113 kg) and furnished with a 100 kg-class multipurpose (blast fragmentation/penetration) warhead, Spice 250 is a lightweight day/night all-weather precision weapon with a stand-off range of 100 km and a given circular error probable (CEP) of “better than 3 m”.
Equipped with a mid-body fold out wing assembly and rear cruciform tail control fin set, the Spice 250 munition features an improved EO/IR guidance package, midcourse INS/GPS navigation, a two-way datalink, and a pre-set or cockpit selectable fuze options.
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