German opposition spoke in favour of providing ‘TAURUS’ long-range missiles to Ukraine

Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a retired colonel, suggests to provide long-range Swedish-German TAURUS cruise missiles to Ukraine.

Roderich Kiesewetter said this in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

TAURUS cruise missiles with a range of 400–500 kilometres would be “a beneficial contribution from Germany, he claimed. “There should be no more red lines here,” Kiesewetter stated.

TAURUS missiles are seen as an analogue of French-British Storm Shadow, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces already use. 

According to Kiesewetter, Germany has a small number of these high-precision guided weapons. Still, they would massively bring a qualitative added value to Ukraine and allow blows against the military infrastructure of the Russians far behind the front line. 

TAURUS is a Swedish-German air-to-ground cruise missile. It is designed for high-precision strikes and to hit highly defended targets at distances of up to 500 km. The missile is manufactured by Taurus Systems GmbH (a joint venture between MBDA Deutschland and Saab Bofors Dynamics AB). 

Watch a video on the TAURUS KEPD 350NO missile.

“10 years ago, around 600 of these cruise missiles were procured for the Bundeswehr, but only around 150 are still ready for use,” says the CDU politician. However, these guided weapons are much more helpful in Ukraine than they are stored in Germany.

Ukraine relies on long-range attacks: With the British Storm Shadows, Russian targets are no longer safe at a distance of 400 kilometres. 

With a range of up to 400 kilometres, Ukraine can hit Russian supply lines, ammunition and fuel depots, command posts and radar systems, which Russia moved to the hinterland only a few months ago to protect against Himars attacks. Now Russia is coming under pressure again.

Fabian Hoffmann, a rocket expert at the University of Oslo, confirms a “relatively great success” of Ukraine with the Storm Shadows. “Russia does not yet seem to be able to intercept these cruise missiles,” says the expert in conversation with the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND). 

The success of the Storm Shadows is due to the special characteristics of the cruise missile and the deficits of the Russian air defence. Cruise missiles are difficult to detect on the radar. They could use geographical obstacles as cover when approaching the target.

Ukraine needs a large missile alliance – Hoffmann

Russia’s air defence is struggling to hit smaller targets, such as cruise missiles and drones. They are hard to catch low-flying objects. 

“That’s why the Storm Shadows is a great help for Ukraine,” says Hoffmann. However, he clarifies that a few of these rockets still need to guarantee resounding success. Only in large numbers could these weapon systems change the war. “You should deliver everything that NATO would use itself. Ukraine needs a large rocket alliance to achieve an advantage on the battlefield,” says Hoffmann.

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