Cruise missiles for Ukraine? Germany under pressure

Like the online magazine “The Drive” reported, the Taurus missile has capabilities similar to the Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG held in England and France. According to Roderich Kiesewetter, it could add qualitative value to the Ukrainian air force and enable attacks on Russian military infrastructure far behind the front lines.

Kiesewetter expressed confidence that the Taurus could be quickly integrated into the Ukrainian Air Force, as has already happened with the Storm Shadow. Nevertheless, according to “The Drive”, there is resistance to the idea in the federal cabinet.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) answered the question about a possible transfer of the cruise missiles – without naming the Taurus by name: “I think it has proven so far that we do not constantly proceed in a certain direction or draw red or white lines. “You should give Ukraine significant support and deal with it responsibly.

At the same time, Pistorius said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels this week that he “believed that we should support Ukraine with all the legally permissible systems that it needs to win this war and that we are able to provide”. . When asked whether he also saw a danger in a possible delivery of F-16 fighter jets, he explained: “I see no risk of escalation at this point.”

Taurus cruise missile has a range of over 500 kilometers

Ten years ago, Germany acquired around 600 Taurus KEPD 350s, of which around 150 are still operational, according to The Drive. The cruise missile was developed by Taurus Systems, a joint venture between MBDA Germany and Saab Dynamics from Sweden.

The Taurus is an air-launched cruise missile primarily designed to engage highly protected targets such as bunkers and other fixed infrastructure. It can be fired from a variety of fighter planes and offers an opportunity for long-range precision combat.

Key features of the Taurus KEPD 350 are:

  1. Range: The Taurus has a range of over 500 kilometers, allowing it to be fired from a safe distance.
  2. Guidance and Navigation: The missile has an integrated inertial navigation system (INS) that is enhanced with GPS updates. An image-based terrain reference sensor enables the Taurus to also hit semi-stationary targets.
  3. Penetration: The Taurus carries a high-explosive warhead called MEPHISTO (Multi-Effect Penetrator, Highly Sophisticated and Target Optimized). This warhead is designed to penetrate hardened structures and then detonate.
  4. Stealth Ability: The Taurus is designed to evade enemy radar and defense systems by flying very low, using the terrain for stealth.

The Taurus KEPD 350 is in service in various countries including Germany, Spain and South Korea.

“Ukraine’s partners must now go ‘all-in’ and provide Ukraine with everything that Ukraine can use in combined arms combat and that is permissible under international law,” Kiesewetter told the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”. The missiles could be a “very helpful contribution from Germany”.

According to The Drive, if Germany approved the transfer of the Taurus, more examples could be delivered by Spain. The southern European country acquired the weapon to arm its fleet of EF-18 Hornet fighter jets.

Jean Harris

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