The Indian Air Force has signed Rs 300-crore deal with the Israeli government to buy as many as 100 SPICE bombs. The newly ordered SPICE bombs are an advanced version of SPICE-2000 bombs which were used by the IAF during the air strikes in Balakot on February 26, in which the Indian forces reportedly eliminated around 300 Jaish-e-Mohammed militants. Since the deal has been signed under emergency powers, the Israeli government is expected to deliver these bombs in the next three months, reports India Today.
What are SPICE bombs?
SPICE bomb, which stands for Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective, has a stand-off range of 60 km. It comes equipped with a family of weapons used for air-to-ground operations. India has been using SPICE-2000 bombs since 2015 on French-developed fighter jets, Mirage-2000. "SPICE-2000: IAF has acquired precision-guided bombs with increased accuracy and penetration for use against fortified and underground command centres. This weapon has been tested and its capabilities have been validated at an IAF firing range," said a defence ministry's 2015 note.
As per The Week, SPICE bomb kit consists of inertial navigation, satellite guidance and electro-optical sensors for pinpoint accuracy. They also consist of an add-on kit for warheads, including MK-84, APW, RAP-2000 and BLU-109. These sophisticated bombs are difficult to detect on radars. Due to their small size, they can be used from standoff range to destroy targets. Also, heavy cloud cover or bad weather has little effect on their outcome.
The Indian Air Force had conducted airstrikes in Pakistan's Balakot area on Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps in February. These strikes were held in response to the deadly terror attack on the Army convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district. Over 44 jawans had died in the attack after a local terror rammed his car loaded with 300 kg explosive into the Army convoy. JeM chief Masood Azhad had claimed responsibility for the attack.