Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel claims it has successfully tested and demonstrated a new ATR (Automatic Target Recognition) capability for its SPICE-250 air-to-surface munition.
SPICE – Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective – (250, 1000, 2000) is a family of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-ground weapon systems that attack targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes, without depending on GPS navigation in GPS-denied environments.
SPICE-250 has a standoff range of 100 kilometers, and can be equipped with either general purpose or penetration 75kg class warhead.
This new and unique ATR capability is part of SPICE-250’s array of technologies which includes Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Moving-Target-Detection homing modes, all of which are based on autonomous electro-optic Scene-Matching Algorithms.
The newly-unveiled ATR feature is a technological breakthrough, enabling SPICE-250 to effectively learn the specific target characteristics ahead of the strike, using advanced AI and deep-learning technologies.
During flight, the pilot selects the target type to be attacked and allocates a target to each weapon. The weapons are launched towards the vicinity of the targets, using their INS for initial navigation. When approaching the target area, the weapons use the ATR mode for detection and recognition of the targets. Each weapon homes-in on the pre-defined target, either autonomously or with a human-in-the-loop, aided by the ATR algorithm.
The combination of the increased loadout of SPICE-250, the unique homing methods for various scenarios, and the effective 75kg warhead, enables a high volume, autonomous and precise strike capability against multiple target types, with an assured very low collateral damage.
SPICE-250 uses a common aircraft interface and sophisticated Smart Quad Rack (SQR) which simplifies the effort needed for aircraft integration. Four SPICE-250 weapons are carried on each SQR. SPICE-250 can be directly mounted on light attack aircraft store stations, thanks to its small size and light weight.
SPICE is combat-proven with the Israeli Air Force and in operational service with a number of international customers including Indian Air Force.