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Update: Rafael unveils SPICE 250 ER development

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has disclosed development of a powered, extended range (ER) variant of the SPICE 250 air-to-surface autonomous glide weapon system.

Designated SPICE 250 ER, the new variant incorporates a micro-turbojet engine with an internal JP-8/10 fuel reservoir to deliver what is understood to be a conservatively stated range “of at least 150km”.

Currently in high-volume production for a number of customers, the standard SPICE 250 is an all-up weapon system, unlike the heavier 1000 and 2000 family variants, which are essentially electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) guidance and target acquisition add-on kits for 1000,lb and 2,000 lb general purpose and penetration warheads.

Weighing 250 lb (113 kg) and furnished with a 75 kg class warhead (blast fragmentation/penetration), the unpowered SPICE 250 variant is a lightweight day/night all-weather precision weapon with a stand-off range of 100 km and a stated 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 weapon system features an improved EO/IR guidance package, midcourse INS/GPS navigation, a two-way datalink, and pre-set or cockpit selectable fuze options.

All current production SPICE variants – 250, 1000, 2000 – are furnished with an Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) capability: an autonomous electro-optic scene matching technology designed to overcome GPS-jamming, navigation and target location errors in the engagement of fixed targets. On approach to the target, the scene-matching algorithm compares the electro-optical image received in real-time via the weapon seeker with mission reference data stored in the weapon’s computer memory.

Externally identical to the unpowered SPICE 250 glide munition, the SPICE 250 ER is furnished with a micro-turbojet engine. Note the retractable air intake on the underside of the weapon, and the aft exhaust vent for the ER variant. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

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