How Israel's precision-guided missiles overcome GPS jamming

 | Updated: May 13, 2021, 08:50 PM IST

The Mini-Harpy "Kamikaze" drone is capable of carrying eight-kilogram warhead and explodes on impact. 

Israeli missile

Just days after the Pulwama attack in February 2019, at the Aero India show in Bangalore Israeli defence technology company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems showcased the new air-to-surface missile known as the “Rocks".

“Equipped with either penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, the missile can destroy above-ground or well-defended underground targets in heavily surface-to-air-defended areas,” the company said in a statement.

India officials later revealed after the airstrikes on Balakot in Pakistan that Israeli-made "smart bombs" were used to strike JeM targets on February 26th. The missiles were called "Spice 2000".

[Image: The Israel Aerospace Industries new Mini-Harpy kamikaze drone, which was unveiled at the Aero India trade show in Bangalore, India, in February 2019. (Source: Israel Aerospace Industries)]


Israeli bombs

The Israeli "Spice bomb" was pre-fed with the GPS coordinates on JeM terror camps in Balakot. The bombs are precision-guided, one that can automatically match the target and destroy it.

Israel and India have had strong defence ties, however, in the past, most of the military assistance was covert. 

In fact, during the Kargil war in 1999, Israel was the first country to extend military assistance to India, Tel Aviv had supplied the Indian troops with ammunition and mortar.

Similar help was extended during the 1971 Indo-Pak war as well. 

(Image: An Israeli Air Force Mk 84 Bomb Spice 2000 by Rafael is presented to the journalists at the Tel Nof Air Force base.)


Israeli missile

At the Aero show in Bangalore, the Israeli company said Rocks uses GPS and a navigation system to home in on targets using optical systems and “advanced image processing algorithms, which ensures hitting targets with great precision, overcoming GPS jamming or denial.”

The missile also provides ''cutting edge and cost-effective" technology.

At the Aero India show, Israel also revealed the Mini-Harpy loitering missile, also known as the "Kamikaze" or "suicide drone".

(Source: Israel Aerospace Industries)]


Israeli missile

The Mini-Harpy "Kamikaze" drone is capable of carrying an eight-kilogram warhead and explodes on impact. It is a drone-cum-missile. 

The Harpy weighs just 45 kgs and can carry a 32-kilo warhead and can stay in the air for nearly two hours making it a deadly force.


Israeli missile

"It can be launched from land, marine and helicopter borne platforms, providing complete independence in intelligence collection for an updated situational picture and closing the attack circle at low cost," IAI said.

Israel's SPICE (Smart Precise Impact and Cost Effective) is a guided air-to-surface missile which uses electro-optical guidance system to hit targets.

It also has infrared IR/CCD-TV seeker to find targets at night. The bomb has a maximum range of 60,000 meter and weighs 907 kilogram.


Reason why India's defense forces are tilting towards the Derby

In fact,  India's Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) had successfully launched the Tejas studded with the Derby missile from Israel and the Close Combat Missiles (CCM) from Israel.

The Derby missile purchased by the Indian Navy was for the now-retired fleet of Sea Harriers purchased from Britain in 1983. The Derby missile was also used for India's Spyder air defence system, also developed by Israel.

Derby’s variants-I-Derby and I-Derby ER (Extended Range) was unveiled in Aero India five years ago.


Derby Missile

The Indian defence forces in recent years have made special effort to ramp up its air defence.

A case in point was the Russian S-400 missile system brought by India.

With the deployment of S-400 still some years away, Indian forces are relying on Israel's SPYDER defence system (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) which is a quick reaction, low-level missile system which can bring down a target 15 kms away at a height of 9,000 metres.

India had in fact completed the deal way back in 2008 with Israel's Rafael but due to logistics issue, the missile couldn't be deployed.

The SPYDER along with Israel's Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (IMRSAM) system are the key defence system for India.


Israeli missile

The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30km where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number.

The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound that its nearly 2km/s for more than 20s.

India also ordered the Dual Mount Stinger (DMS) Air Defence Systems which is used to launch Stinger missiles.

The US State Department had said at the time that the sale would "support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner."