Israeli fingerpints on spice smart bombs, Balakot, Kargil & 71' Indo-Pak war
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.
Air-to-surface missile: The 'Rocks'
Just days after Pulwama attack, 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 air strikes on Balakot in Pakistan that an Israeli-made "smart bomb" was used to strike JeM targets on February 26th. The missiles were called Spice 2000.
[An Israeli Air Force Mk 84 Bomb Spice 2000 by Rafael is presented to the journalists at the Tel Nof Air Force base, south of Tel Aviv. (Source: AFP)]
'Missiles pre-fed with GPS coordinates'
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.
Under PM Modi, India has brought this partnership in the open, and celebrated it.
[Image: An Israeli Air Force Mk 84 Bomb Spice 2000 by Rafael is presented to the journalists at the Tel Nof Air Force base. (Source: AFP)]
'India-Israel defence partnership'
India is now the largest market for Israeli defence manufacturing companies.
India and Israel have stepped up their defence engagement too. Troops from both sides participate in joint military drills together. Several experts often make the case for India to follow the Israeli template since Tel Aviv is known for its muscular foreign policy against adversaries.
In 2017, Narendra Modi became the first prime minister of India to visit Israel. The visit also celebrated the defence partnership between the two countries.
'Cutting edge and cost-effective'
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".
[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)]
Mini-Harpy 'kamikaze' drone
The Mini-Harpy "kamikaze" drone is capable of carrying eight-kilogram warhead and explodes on impact. It is a drone-cum-missile which is tailor-made for condictions prevailing at the Line of Control(LoC).
Remember, a few days ago Indian security forces had brought down a Pakistani UAV in the Rajasthan sector which was apparently testing India's defence in the area.
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 at the International Border with Paksitan.
"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.
[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)]
IAF Mirage-2000 fighter jet
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 reason why the Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter jets used it during its bombing campaign at Balikot in Pakistan on February 26th.
The same missile can also be used by F-16s which is in Pakistan's arsenal. The bomb has a maximum range of 60,000 meter and weighs 907 kilogram.
[Image: IAF Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft drops bombs during the 'Vayu Shakti 2019' fire power demonstration at the IAF's firing range field in Pokhran in the state of Rajasthan. (Source: AFP)]
'SPICE missile to integrate with Su-30MKI'
After its success at Balakot, India has decided to integrate the SPICE missile in its Su-30MKI combat aircraft.
"At the moment, the only aircraft which is capable of delivering the bombs on enemy targets is the Mirage 2000. But now the Air Force is putting them on the Su-30s as well to further enhance their firepower," government sources said.
"After a few more trials, the Su-30 fleet would be equipped with these bombs which rely on coordinates and satellite pictures of the target to home in and destroy the intended targets," the sources said.
[Image: An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet prepares to touch down at the Agra-Lucknow highway during a touchdown operational exercise by the Indian Air Force at Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. (Source: AFP)]
India and Israel have already traded in Drones in the past two years. In fact, the Indian government has already purchased 10 Heron TP drones from Israel.
However, the Heron TP drone is not specifically recognised as an "armed drone". The IAI Eitan also known as Heron TP was brought by India two years ago.
[Image: An Israeli Air Force Mk 84 Bomb Spice 2000 by Rafael is present to the journalists at the Tel Nof Air Force base, south of Tel Aviv. (Source: AFP)]