SOURCE: THE PRINT
The Indian Air Force is planning to integrate the Israeli Spice 2000 guidance kit-enabled bombs on board its front-line Russian-origin fighter aircraft Su30 MKI that will give a fillip to its offensive capabilities. The IAF had used Spice 2000 bombs to successfully strike a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February this year. Incidentally, this would be the second non-Russian and non-indigenous weapon to be integrated with the Su30 MKI.
Much to the discomfort of Russia, IAF is already integrating the British Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile (ASRAAM) . The missile is manufactured by European firm MBDA.
Multiple Russian sources that ThePrint spoke to have said they have not been taken into confidence regarding the integration of the British missile. The fresh move to integrate the Spice 2000 will add to the Russian discomfort.
‘More potency and options’
IAF sources said the force is trying to standardise weapons across its fleet.“This makes sense from having a common doctrinal approach and commercially viable. Also, options open up manyfold,” an IAF source told ThePrint.
India has already integrated the Indo-Russian joint venture product — BrahMos supersonic cruise missile — on board the Su30 MKI. The IAF earlier this year inked a Rs 300-crore deal with Israel for the new set of Spice bombs.“The Spice 2000 on board the Sukhois will give us much more potency and options,” an official said, noting that only the Mirages can currently fire them.
On February 26 this year, five Spice 2000 bombs fired from the French Mirage 2000s successfully struck a Jaish terror camp in Balakot.
Each Spice 2000 bomb weighs about 1,000 kg and has a range of close to about 100 km.
The newly ordered Spice bombs are an advanced version of Spice 2000 bombs used by the IAF during the Balakot air strikes.
The Spice 2000 uses a Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) technology, which automatically matches the target, as it zooms in, with the image that has been pre-fed, besides the GPS coordinates.The smart bomb can be used day or night, and also has anti-GPS jammer, which means the GPS homing technology cannot be jammed by the enemy.
Spice 2000 consists of an add-on kit for warheads such as the MK-84, BLU-109, APW and RAP-2000. IAF is acquiring the bunker buster or the building destroyer version with Mark 84 warhead which can decimate targeted buildings.