Germany receives last Taurus cruise missile

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MBDA Deutschland/Saab Dynamics joint venture Taurus Systems has delivered its 600th and last Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile to Germany's BWB procurement agency. The milestone comes within months of the delivery in August of the company's last example for export user Spain.

Integrated with the German air force's Panavia Tornado interdictor strike fleet and Spain's Boeing EF-18s, the KEPD 350 is a 1,400kg (3,090lb)-class weapon with a range of more than 500km (270nm). Equipped with a Mephisto dual penetrator warhead, it is designed to attack fixed targets, such as bunkers and command and control facilities.

 
© Taurus Systems
The KEPD 350 has been integrated with Germany's Tornado IDS fleet

"With this system, the Luftwaffe has at its disposal one of the most modern and effective guided missiles for combating fortified targets from a safe stand-off range," says Brig Gen Hermann Muntz, assistant head of the German air force's weapon systems command. Although production deliveries have concluded, he notes: "we need to respond to continually evolving mission scenarios and consider further developments."

MBDA Deutschland says the design could potentially be modified for use as an anti-ship weapon, with enhancements to its in-flight controls also possible. But for the near term, work will focus on adding the missile to the arsenal of the Eurofighter combat aircraft for its current customers.

Further international sales are also considered a possibility. "We are optimistic that we will be able to successfully market the Taurus KEPD 350 for export," says Taurus Systems managing director Helmut Hederer.