26 Feb 2019 | Staff | The New Arab
“Indian warplanes used Israeli-made SPICE 2000 precision-guided bombs in airstrikes targeting a militant camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday, defence sources said.
The airstrikes, launched by Indian jets against a training camp allegedly used by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), have drastically escalated tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir earlier in the month that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary troopers.
New Delhi said a “very large number” of JeM militants were killed in the strike on the camp, where it alleges fighters were planning further attacks on India.
Five Mirage 2000s launched the airstrikes using the Israeli-made smart bombs, Indian defence sources told local media.
A derivative of the “Popeye” (AGM-142 Have Nap) air-to-surface missile, the “Spice” is a product of Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It achieved initial operational capability during 2003, in Israeli Air Force F-16squadrons. Wikipedia
The jets were not planning to initially cross the Line of Control – the de facto border that divides Kashmir – but were forced to due to the size of the bombs – weighing 1,000 kg each – and strong winds in the region.
The Israeli-manufactured bombs were pre-fed with GPS coordinates and an image of the militant camp.
SPICE (smart precise impact and cost effective) bombs are the largest conventional bomb in the Indian Air Force’s arsenal.
India is the world’s largest defence importer and has been investing tens of billions in updating its military equipment to counter long-standing tensions with regional rivals China and Pakistan.
India is now Israel’s biggest arms market, buying weapons at an average of $1 billion each year.
India has broken the record for sealing what is being described as “the largest defence contract” between the two countries, after New Dehli promised to purchase nearly $2 billion worth of weapons’ technology from Israel.
In 2017, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said India would buy nearly $2 billion worth of weapons technology, making it the military exporting giant’s largest ever defence contract.