India has signed a deal with Israel for purchasing over 100 high explosive warheads worth Rs 300 crore. The bombs are the advanced version of the SPICE 2000 bombs used by the Indian Air Force in Mirage-2000 fighter jets in the airstrikes on Jaish-e-Muhammad militant camps at Balakot in Pakistan.
According to reports, as the deal was signed under emergency provisions, the explosives will be delivered in the next three months.
The SPICE bombs have a standoff range of 60 kilometres. It approaches its target based on a scene-matching algorithm which compares the electro-optical image captured in real-time along with mission reference data stored in the weapon's computer memory. This helps the flight to adjust its route accordingly. The weapon also consists of an add-on kit for warheads such as the MK-84, BLU-109, APW and RAP-2000.
- SPICE stands for 'Smart Precise Impact and Cost Effective guidance kit-2000.
- At the time of India's acquisition of around 200 of these bombs from Israel the defence minister had explained the strategic nature of the guided weapon.
- "The guided bombs with increased accuracy and penetration for use against fortified and underground command centres. This weapon has been tested and its capabilities have been validated at an IAF firing range," the ministry said in a press note in 2015.
The deal is India's first defence deal after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over a second term after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A recent report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed that India is the world's largest arms importer. From 2013-2017, India's largest supplier to arms had been Russia, the US and Israel.