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Taurus missiles sought: calls for military aid to Ukraine grow in Germany

Taurus missiles sought: calls for military aid to Ukraine grow in Germany Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany (Image: Getty Images)

According to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, in Germany, both government and opposition officials are increasingly showing support for the idea of providing long-range missiles to Ukraine as part of military aid. Policymakers and diplomats are urging Berlin to supply the Ukrainian side with Taurus missile systems.

The article highlights that a high-ranking politician in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) points to deliberate delays in addressing this matter.

According to Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the Bundestag from the opposition party CDU, Berlin should urgently transfer more Leopard 2 tanks, mine clearance equipment, anti-aircraft systems, ammunition, and "deliver Taurus cruise missiles" to Ukraine.

The politician emphasizes that the Bundeswehr possesses 600 Taurus systems, of which 450 are currently not operational but can be modernized for export.

However, he believes that there is simply a lack of political will, and any delay in providing missiles to Ukraine could not only prolong the war but also lead to full-scale military aggression from Russia and other states, including Moldova, Poland, Romania, and the Baltic States.

Marcus Faber, a representative of the liberal party within the ruling coalition, stated that the positive experience of supplying cruise missiles to Ukraine by the United Kingdom demonstrates the importance of such assistance.

It should be noted that the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Oleksiy Makeiev, has also urged Berlin to reconsider its refusal to provide our country with similar long-range cruise missiles, which could significantly help the Armed Forces of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression and save many lives of civilians suffering from terrorist attacks by the occupiers.

What is known about Taurus cruise missiles

The Taurus KEPD (Kinetic Energy Penetration and Destruction) is a subsonic air-launched cruise missile and serves as an analog to the British Storm Shadow missile. However, its operational range is significantly greater, reaching up to 500 kilometers. The missile weighs 1400 kg and is 5 meters long. It was developed by Taurus Systems GmbH. Germany has ordered 600 combat and 14 training Taurus missiles for its air force.

Additionally, the missile features a programmable detonation system for either airburst or sub-surface detonation. In the case of airburst, both charges detonate simultaneously.

The base model of the Taurus missile has a tandem penetrator warhead known as MEPHISTO. The forward charge is shaped charge, while the main charge is a blast warhead. It is housed in a high-strength casing, specially designed for penetrating concrete and hard rock. The weight of the blast warhead along with the casing is 400 kilograms, and the total weight of the warhead is 480 kilograms.

Long-range missiles for Ukraine

Germany had previously rejected Ukraine's request for Taurus cruise missiles with a range of up to 500 kilometers, which the country had made earlier in the summer. Discussions in the USA about supplying ATACMS missiles are still ongoing.

It is worth mentioning that earlier this spring, the United Kingdom provided Ukraine with long-range Storm Shadow missiles, which the Ukrainian forces have already effectively employed. Additionally, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the transfer of long-range SCALP missiles.

In July, Marcus Faber, a politician from the Free Democratic Party of Germany, once again called on the authorities to supply Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine.