In a major development, India on Thursday said it will buy over 100 SPICE bombs with high explosives warhead for the Indian Airforce. This comes as part of Rs 300-crore deal signed between India and Israel under emergency provisions. The bombs are an advanced version of the Spice-2000 bombs, which can be used to reduce enemy buildings and bunkers to rubble in no time. It is the first defence deal to be signed by the government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over for a second term.
It is believed that SPICE-2000 bombs were used by IAF's Mirage fighter jets in the airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan.
"A contract for procuring over 100 SPICE bombs with Mark 84 warheads was signed with Israel under emergency provisions as per which the deliveries would be done in three months time," top government sources were quoted as saying by ANI.
The Indian Airforce used the penetrator version of Spice-2000 bombs during the Balakot airstrikes, which made holes in the concrete rooftops of the buildings in the Jaish camp but did not destroy the buildings. The bombs, however, exploded inside the building killing those who were present inside the building.
"The IAF is now going to aquire the bunker buster or the building destroyer version with Mark 84 warhead which can decimate targeted buildings," sources told ANI.
SPICE stands for 'smart, precise-impact and cost-effective'. It is manufactured by the Israeli defence technology company Rafael.
A SPICE bomb has a standoff range of 60 kilometers and approaches the target as its unique scene-matching algorithm compares the electro-optical image received in real-time via the weapon seeker with mission reference data stored in the weapon computer memory and adjusts the flight path accordingly. SPICE 2000 consists of an add-on kit for warheads such as the MK-84, BLU-109, APW and RAP-2000.
It was on February 26 that the Indian Airforce conducted the Balakot airstrikes in response to the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama which resulted in the martyrdom of 40 CRPF personnel.