21:40 GMT16 April 2021
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    The Indian Air Force reportedly conducted the Balakot strike in Pakistan using Mirage 2000 fighters armed with Spice-2000 penetrator bombs. Because the target was visually obscured by clouds, strike pilots were unable to use the electro-optical seeker in the Spice kits.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Months after launching pre-dawn air strikes in Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is now planning to purchase an advanced "bunker-buster" version of the Spice-2000 bombs, manufactured by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, reports the news agency ANI.

    The advanced bombs can completely destroy buildings and bunkers, in comparison to the ones used in the Balakot strike — the penetrator version — which makes holes in the concrete rooftops of buildings using their weight without causing much damage to the structure itself. Rather, they explode inside, killing people with a combination of its 70-80 kg of explosives and shrapnel.

    READ MORE: Satellite Imagery Shows India Missed Target in Pakistan Airstrike — Reports

    "The IAF is now planning to acquire the bunker buster or the building destroyer version with Mark 84 warhead which can decimate targeted buildings", reported ANI, citing government sources.

    The development comes months after Pakistan's claims that the IAF's pre-dawn air strike on 26 February did not hit the intended targets, as no buildings in Balakot were destroyed. It is believed that the IAF had used a penetrator version of the bomb against the alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps during the strike on 26 February. Contrary to Pakistan's claims, the IAF in its review said that the aircraft had hit five of the six designated buildings in Balakot town in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province.

    ​The report cited a government official as saying that the procurement would be done under the emergency powers that have been granted to services to acquire equipment of their choice worth up to some $45 million in order to prepare for any hostilities.

    Earlier, it was also reported that the IAF would be equipping Su-30MKI combat aircraft with the Spice bombs. In a dossier submitted to the government, the IAF has claimed that it has been proved that during the Balakot operation, 80% of the bombs hit their targets.

    SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) is an EO/GPS guidance kit for converting unguided air dropped bombs into precision guided bombs. Spice-2000 converts a 2000lb bomb like the MK-84, BLU-109, RAP-2000, and others into a stand-off bomb.

    The IAF acquired an undisclosed number of Spice-2000 precision guided bombs with increased accuracy and penetration for use against fortified and underground command centres. 


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    advanced weapons, bombs, purchase, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, India, Pakistan
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