The German government will “in the near future” announce the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles with a kill radius of up to 500 km to Ukraine, sources in the country’s ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) have told T-online.
The decision has already been backed by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). Last week, Olaf Scholz’s office asked the Defense Ministry for data on the Taurus in order to find out how many such missiles the Bundeswehr has, assess their effectiveness and calculate the risks.
According to sources, the government is currently resolving the issue with the United States, Germany’s most important partner and a key ally of Ukraine. The SPD recalled that coordinated action with Washington is a prerequisite for approving the delivery of new weapons systems to Kyiv. For example, Germany agreed to transfer Leopard tanks after the USA made a similar decision regarding its Abrams.
Thus, there is a high probability that the Taurus will be delivered together with the US ATACMS ballistic missiles with a range of 300 km, which Ukraine has also requested from its allies.
At the moment, the German Armed Forces have 600 Taurus. Of these, 150 are in operational condition, the rest can be put back into service by German industry. It is not reported how many missiles Berlin is ready to send to Kyiv.
Ukraine asked for Taurus in May. Given their range, such missiles are capable of reaching Moscow. At that time, Scholz did not agree to their shipment, fearing that the AFU would start hitting Russia with them.
On August 3, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the delivery of Taurus “is not a top priority” for now. However, amid difficulties with the counteroffensive, more and more German politicians are calling for these missiles to be given to Ukraine.
Markus Faber, a defense expert of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), called the German leadership’s arguments untenable. In his opinion, international law allows Ukraine to attack military targets in Russia. In addition, the weaponmakers can adjust the GPS systems of the missiles in such a way that they cannot be directed to the territory of the Russian Federation.
SPD member Adis Ahmetovic said that if the Taurus “can help the Ukrainians,” Germany “should consider supplying them”. He was supported by MP Andreas Schwarz, who said that the missiles would allow Ukraine to more effectively strike at Russian logistics routes.
The SPD also recalled that Kyiv had promised the UK and France, which gave the AFU Storm Shadow and Scalp missiles with a range of more than 250 km, not to launch strikes on Russian territory, and has so far kept its word.