Lockheed Adds Some Israeli SPICE To Kinetics Market

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Unread post18 May 2019, 04:43

Lockheed Adds Some Israeli SPICE To Kinetics Market
17 May 2019 Arie Egozi

"It's a global coming-out party for the precision munition, already used by the Israeli Air Force in Syria.

TEL AVIV: Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Lockheed Martin have signed a cooperation agreement to develop, market, manufacture and support the Israeli company’s SPICE smart bombs. SPICE — a somewhat tortured acronym meaning “Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective...

...The “Americanization” of the SPICE bombs will allow Lockheed Martin to offer it to all its customers, mainly operators of F-16 and F-35 fighter aircraft, according to Gideon Weiss, deputy general manager of Rafael’s marketing and business development, air and C4I systems division.

“Now the Americans use the high-end weapons systems like the AGM-158 air launched cruise missile, and the low-end systems, like the Paveway LGB bombs — these require a laser designator to illuminate the target. In the gap between those two types of weapon systems, the SPICE is a very good solution,” the Rafael executive told Breaking Defense....

...The IAF plans to equip its F-35I Adir with Israeli-developed weapons systems. There is no doubt that the SPICE family is high on the priority list. If and when these bombs are operational on the IAF’s F-35s, Lockheed Martin will be able to offer them to F-35 users around the world.

The agreement was signed between Rafael and LM ‘s missiles and fire control division, but Israeli sources say the aim is to use the full capabilities of the American company to promote the Israeli smart bombs in the international market....

...The Rafael SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 guidance kits convert 1,000 lb and 2,000 lb general purpose and penetration warheads into precision stand-off strike weapons. The SPICE-1000 kit has a stand-off range of 62 miles for general purpose or penetration warheads, such as the MK-83 and RAP1000.

The SPICE-2000 kit boasts a stand-off range of 37 miles for general purpose or penetration warheads, such as the MK-84, RAP2000 and BLU-109. Mission planning for the SPICE family members can be performed in the air or on the ground, and uses target coordinates, impact angle and azimuth, imagery and topographical data to create a mission for each target, says Yuval Miller, Rafael’s executive vice president and the head of the company’s air & C4ISR systems division.

The pilot allocates a mission to each weapon before release. The weapon is released outside the threatened area and heads autonomously towards the target zone. As the weapon approaches the target, SPICE’s 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.

The Automatic Target Acquisition capability is implemented by a unique scene-matching technology that according to the company’s official, is robust to scenery changes and produces a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 10 feet. In the homing phase, after successful completion of the scene-matching process, SPICE acquires the target automatically. The weapon homes in and autonomously to the exact target location in the pre-defined impact angle and azimuth....

...The SPICE bombs use a common aircraft interface, and sophisticated weapon software simplify the effort needed for aircraft integration, company officials say. Spice has day, night and adverse weather capabilities, based on its dual CCD/IIR seeker.

While the agreement between Rafael and LM is about the SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000, the Israeli company has also developed a new version, the SPICE-250. The Rafael Spice 250 can be loaded with 100 optional targets in a given area. Its deployable wings allow an aircraft to carry more bombs. The weapon is guided by a GPS/INS Satellite/Inertial Navigation system. The INS is used both as an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and as a sensor device for weapon angular position and motion. The GPS receiver serves as a backup for the INS and reduces drift by including GPS inputs in navigation calculations.

But the main sensor of the SPICE is the CCD/IIR dual seeker that, according to Rafael, overcomes target location error and GPS jamming. While approaching the target, the SPICE 250’s 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.

According to Rafael, the SPICE 250 achieves an extended standoff range of up to 62 miles.

The SPICE 250 can be updated after release and provides Battle Damage Indication (BDI) capability, by transmitting a target image as it strikes the target. The Israeli company says that these capabilities, along with airborne Mission Planning, provide a comprehensive solution for Time-Sensitive-Targets, land moving and maritime targets....

...In addition, although the weapon’s 250 lbs warhead is half the mass of 500 lbs class weapons, its enhanced effects exceed that of the 500 lb bomb, particularly in target penetration capability."

IMAGE: SPICE 250 https://sites.breakingmedia.com/uploads ... 50open.jpg

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/loc ... cs-market/
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post18 May 2019, 07:35

Nice addition to the F-35's quiver.
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Unread post18 May 2019, 08:18

Attachments
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Spice2000.jpg
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post18 May 2019, 16:42


Not exactly stealthy this one...
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Unread post19 May 2019, 10:33

How does the SPICE 250 compare with the GBU-53?
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Unread post19 May 2019, 11:02

knowan wrote:How does the SPICE 250 compare with the GBU-53?

Spice 250 employs EO/IR guidance while Storm Breaker features active millimeter wave, IR imaging and SAL terminal guidance.
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Unread post19 May 2019, 19:47

popcorn wrote:
knowan wrote:How does the SPICE 250 compare with the GBU-53?

Spice 250 employs EO/IR guidance while Storm Breaker features active millimeter wave, IR imaging and SAL terminal guidance.


Sorry for asking more questions, but is there a difference between EO/IR and Imaging IR?

And does the smaller number of seeker types make the SPICE 250 cheaper than the Stormbreaker?
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Unread post19 May 2019, 22:45

Hah I just can't get used to people calling it Storm Breaker.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 01:03

knowan wrote:
popcorn wrote:
knowan wrote:How does the SPICE 250 compare with the GBU-53?

Spice 250 employs EO/IR guidance while Storm Breaker features active millimeter wave, IR imaging and SAL terminal guidance.


Sorry for asking more questions, but is there a difference between EO/IR and Imaging IR?

And does the smaller number of seeker types make the SPICE 250 cheaper than the Stormbreaker?


My understanding of EO is emulating a TV camera using visible light part of EM spectrum and the IR is useful when visibility is degraded due to weather or night time operation. No idea about costs.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 06:35

lamoey wrote:

Not exactly stealthy this one...
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At least the wings/fins do not have 90 degrees angle between them.

... or, do the talls actualy have?
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Unread post20 May 2019, 07:14

popcorn wrote:
knowan wrote:
popcorn wrote:Spice 250 employs EO/IR guidance while Storm Breaker features active millimeter wave, IR imaging and SAL terminal guidance.


Sorry for asking more questions, but is there a difference between EO/IR and Imaging IR?

And does the smaller number of seeker types make the SPICE 250 cheaper than the Stormbreaker?


My understanding of EO is emulating a TV camera using visible light part of EM spectrum and the IR is useful when visibility is degraded due to weather or night time operation. No idea about costs.


That's correct. EO/IR is nowadays usually used with combined TV camera and Imaging IR system. So it can see both in visible light spectrum and IR spectrum. Sometimes it can also mean just IR system (either imaging or non-imaging). But in this context I think it means combined CCD TV (digital TV camera) and IR sensor.

Imaging IR system alone is pretty effective, but visible light camera has some benefits that IR systems lack. Since they rely on reflected light, they can see things that IR systems can't if those things don't radiate enough heat. If the target and the surroundings have similar temperature, IR systems have trouble seeing them. TV camera will likely see targets in those conditions. TV camera can also see shadows and colors which are absent in IR imagery. TV cameras can also have much higher resolution than IR cameras due to shorter wavelength. All those things can be useful in some situations. But naturally IR systems are far superior in bad weather or during night-time. But the combination of the two can make the seeker much better (like combining IR and MMW radar) in many situations. It also makes countermeasures more difficult.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 08:49

It would be interesting to know the unit cost of these.

It seems the closest in function weapon available is JSOW-C1, both both heavier glide weapons with advanced imaging seekers. SPICE is an add-on kit like JDAM (obviously JSOW is unitary munition) but the kit looks pretty extensive.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 09:59

hkultala wrote:
lamoey wrote:

Not exactly stealthy this one...
Image


At least the wings/fins do not have 90 degrees angle between them.

... or, do the talls actualy have?


It sure seems like that, but I think those are not really a problem. While this is probably not a VLO weapon, I doubt there is point even trying. That is Spice-2000 AFAIK, which is just an add-on kit to regular bombs like Mk84 or BLU-109. I really doubt those wings and fins are going to matter much as far as RCS is concerned. Especially since they are probably made from composites with low radar reflectivity. Besides, those probably increase RCS only directly to sides of the weapon. So enemy radar needs to look at it pretty much perpendicularly. From forward sector they don't matter much IMO. These bombkits are meant to be affordable and use existing non-stealthy bombs. Even regular bombs have fairly low RCS (although not VLO class) and can be pretty difficult to detect in time. For example F-117 used just regular bombs, not anything close to VLO. Even then there was not much of a problem engaging targets with them. Of course carrying them externally would increase F-35 RCS quite a bit, but usually these will be carried internally. Spice-250 and Spice-100 seem to be much stealthier designs as they are totally new designs AFAIK.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 10:28

I'm not sure F-117 is a reasonable comparison. They were dropping gravity bombs that would have a very short flight path, given the assumption they didn't even know the aircraft was overhead until bombs away there would be very little reaction time for the detect/track/target/engage kill chain especially given 60s/70s/80s era IADS. These are glide weapons that would probably be in the air for several minutes against somewhat more sophisticated SAM systems.

To your point though, it probably doesn't matter since (probably) relatively inexpensive. It's a safe bet that anything that can intercept SPICE costs a lot more than SPICE, so it's an horrible materials tradeoff and it's unlikely they would all be intercepted even if not LO.
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Unread post20 May 2019, 17:40

squirrelshoes wrote:To your point though, it probably doesn't matter since (probably) relatively inexpensive. It's a safe bet that anything that can intercept SPICE costs a lot more than SPICE, so it's an horrible materials tradeoff and it's unlikely they would all be intercepted even if not LO.


And anything trying to intercept SPICE will be lit up like a christmas tree, making it an easy target for DEAD; once the defences start getting taken out, the tradeoff becomes even worse.
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