Germany has put Taurus missiles on standby to help Ukraine

German authorities have decided to modernize and bring back into service all long-range Taurus missiles in service with the Bundeswehr, Die Welt has learned.The Defense Ministry informed the Bundestag’s profile committee about the plans in a secret part of a special meeting on Tuesday night, the publication’s sources claim.

The Bundeswehr has around 600 Taurus in its arsenal, the exact number is classified. However, only half of them are operational after a technical upgrade in 2018. The certification period for the rest has expired. It will now be necessary to take a complete inventory of the missiles and send the faulty ones for overhaul.

The decision to put all Taurus on alert opens up new opportunities for the German government. In particular, it means that it can transfer cruise missiles to Ukraine in the future without putting national defense at risk.

A so-called circular exchange with allies seems more likely – this option has not been ruled out by British Foreign Minister David Cameron. The scheme consists in London increasing the supply of Storm Shadow to Ukraine in exchange for Taurus for the United Kingdom.This option was supported by German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock.

The discussion on the transfer to Ukraine of Taurus missiles with a range of 500 kilometers, capable of reaching Moscow, has been going on for a long time. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly opposed such a move, fearing the country’s direct involvement in a war with Russia.

New problems with the agreement arose after the emergence of leaked talks between high-ranking German officers who discussed the possibility of transferring 100 Taurus to Ukraine and using these missiles to strike Russian ammunition depots and the Crimean bridge. The main concern of the participants in the conversation was how to avoid direct involvement of the German military in this process.

On March 14, the Bundestag will again vote on the issue of granting Taurus to Ukraine. Earlier, MPs adopted a draft resolution on the transfer of long-range weapons systems to Kyiv without directly mentioning these missiles.

The Taurus is launched from an airplane. It can reach speeds of up to 900 kilometers per hour, has a range of up to 500 kilometers and can carry up to 480 kilograms of explosives. At the same time, the missile flies at an extremely low altitude of about 50 meters, which prevents it from being detected by radars.Ukraine has been asking for the Taurus since May last year.

Home / News / In the world / Germany has put Taurus missiles on standby to help Ukraine