Tel Aviv: The Rafael family of standoff very accurate air bombs is being used in huge numbers by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) to attack Hamas targets in Gaza with minimal collateral damage. The bombs are carried by all types of the IAF’s fighter aircraft – F-15, F-16 and F-35.
While the Spice 1000 and Spice 2000 are standard bombs that have been equipped with the Rafael guidance kit, the Spice -250 was developed as a very advanced standoff, very precise weapon system. Spice-250 has a standoff range of 62 miles, and can be equipped with either general purpose or penetration 75 kg class warhead.
According to Rafael, the Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) is only one of the Spice-250’s array of technologies which includes Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Moving-Target- Detection homing modes, all of which are based on autonomous electro-optic Scene-Matching Algorithms.
“A specific target like a moving vehicle, can be put into the special algorithm and it will look for the matching pixels and bring the weapon system to hit it with absolute accuracy,” a company source said. He added that the special algorithm builds a 3 dimension image of the specific target.
The ATR feature is a technological breakthrough, enabling Spice-250 to effectively learn the specific target characteristics ahead of the strike, using advanced AI and deep-learning technologies.
During flight, the pilot selects the target type to be attacked and allocates a target to each weapon. The weapons are launched towards the vicinity of the targets, using their INS for initial navigation. When approaching the target area, the weapons use the ATR mode for detection and recognition of the targets. Each weapon homes-in on the pre-defined target, either autonomously or with a human-in-the-loop, aided by the ATR algorithm.
The combination of the increased load out of Spice-250, the unique homing methods for various scenarios, and the effective 75 kg warhead, enables a high volume, autonomous and precise strike capability against multiple target types, with an assured very low collateral damage.
Spice-250 uses a common aircraft interface and sophisticated Smart Quad Rack (SQR) which simplifies the effort needed for aircraft integration. Four Spice-250 weapons are carried on each SQR. Spice-250 can be directly mounted on light attack aircraft store stations, thanks to its small size and light weight.