Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with Israel’s Rafael to develop, market and manufacture Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective (SPICE) precision-guided bomb guidance kits for the US and FMS customer markets.
The SPICE kit comprises wing, guidance and seeker units added to ‘dumb’ Mk83 1,000lb or Mk84 2,000lb bombs, providing a range of up to 60km and a circular error of probability (CEP) of less than three metres using dual-mode infrared and GPS guidance.
“Access to GPS is becoming increasingly limited in contested environments,” executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Division, Yuval Miller said in a statement. “SPICE provides a solution to this challenge. Finalising this exclusive agreement sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems to enhance mission flexibility and success.”
SPICE is in operation with the Israeli Air Force other nations, and has been used extensively in combat. The agreement with Lockheed Martin will see the system adapted for integrated with US air combat systems, and to streamline production.
“SPICE offers the US Department of Defense and many allies a capability that no other weapon currently in inventory provides,” vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, John Varley said. “By applying our expertise in aircraft integration, mission planning and tail-kit design, along with our experience in affordable streamlined production, we will adapt SPICE to meet US standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.”
Israel has integrated SPICE to its Lockheed Martin F-16I and Boeing F-15I strike aircraft, while India employs it from its Dassault Mirage 2000s. It has also reportedly been integrated with the Italian Air Force’s Panavia Tornado IDS, and RoKAF KAI FA-50s.