SPICE-2000 Current Affairs - 2020

India sign Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka

India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia for acquiring Strum Ataka anti-tank missile for its fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers of Indian Air Force (IAF). This deal comes in wake of an IAF’s attempt to keep itself battle-ready in situations like post-Balakot aerial strikes.

Key Highlights

This Rs.200 crore deal for Strum Ataka anti-tank missile would give an added capability to Mi-35 attack choppers of IAF to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements.

Mi-35s are set to be replaced with Apache gunships being acquired from United States (US) and slated to be delivered from August onwards.

Emergency Clause: For more than a decade India has been trying to acquire Russian missiles but the deal has been signed under emergency clauses through which missiles would be supplied within 3 months of contract signing.

What is Emergency Clause?

Within few weeks after 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, emergency powers were given to Indian Defence forces and India started increasing vigil at borders with Pakistan.

Under, emergency powers given to three services, they can procure equipment of their choice within 3 months at a cost of about Rs.300 crore per case.

IAF has emerged as front runner in terms of weapon acquisition under emergency procurement, followed by Indian Army.

Under emergency provisions IAF has acquired also acquired Spice-2000 stand-off weapon system along with a number of spare and air to air missile deals with multiple counties to equip itself for sudden war.

IAF inks Rs 300 crore deal to procure SPICE 2000 bombs from Israel

Indian Air Force (IAF) signed Rs.300 crore deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defence firm to procure a batch of SPICE 2000 guided bombs.

Key Highlights

  • The order for bombs was placed under Special Financial Powers given by government to armed forces for emergency purchases. The bombs are expected to be supplied within next three months.
  • IAF used SPICE bombs for a non-military, pre-emptive strike on terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot region on February 2019. This Indian strike on JeM camp was conducted 12 days after JeM claimed responsibility for suicide attack on CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama region in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

Background

  • Following Pulwama attack in February 2019, government granted emergency powers to all three defence services (Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy) for procuring weapons and military hardware so as to enhance their operational preparedness along border with Pakistan.
  • Government also eased certain rules to cut delays in military purchase such as allowing three services to procure required weapons and equipment from a single vendor.

About SPICE 2000

  • The SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective. It is guidance and maneuvering kit manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • SPICE can overcome errors in locating target, GPS jamming and also reduces collateral damage.
  • SPICE kit adds a sophisticated guidance system that consists of satellite guidance, inertial navigation and electro-optical sensors which can be used for pinpoint accuracy and adds control fins to a conventional unguided bomb (called as free-fall bomb/gravity bomb).
  • It is reportedly biggest conventional bomb that can be delivered by IAF and is used on French-origin Mirage-2000 jets.
  • The SPICE kit has two variants SPICE-1000 kit and SPICE-2000 kit. These two are difficult to detect by most ground-based radars.
  • SPICE-1000: meant for 500kg bombs and has glide range of about 100km.
  • SPICE-2000: meant for 1,000kg bombs and has a glide range of about 60km.