Long-range Taurus missiles production may be suspended due to lack of orders

Taurus cruise missile
Taurus cruise missile

Unless the German federal government accelerates decision-making in the defense industry, production of long-range Taurus missiles may be suspended, MBDA Deutschland CEO Thomas Gottschild cautioned, the German newspaper Spiegel reported on March 30.

According to Gottschild, the defense industry has no right to produce weapons without orders.

"It is a challenge for our industry when production is interrupted, as in the case of the Taurus," he said.

"This is because our suppliers, who are often small and medium-sized companies, stop production in such cases."

Read also: Germany's stance on Ukraine: supportive but cautious on Taurus missiles

According to the head of MBDA Deutschland, in order to receive new orders, suppliers must first reorganize and, in particular, provide themselves with materials which may cause delays.

Taurus for Ukraine struggle: what is known?

Ukraine asks its partners to provide long-range weapons to be able to hit targets deep in the Russian-occupied territory. Some countries have already taken this step: in particular, the United Kingdom has provided Storm Shadow cruise missiles and France has provided their sister-missile SCALP. Germany, which has about 600 Taurus cruise missiles, is still hesitating.

In September 2023, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Berlin had not refused to transfer Taurus to Ukraine, but was not ready to do so now.

Read also: Berlin irritated with Kyiv’s requests to transfer long-range Taurus missiles - Kuleba

The reason for this could be Scholz's hesitation, as previously reported by the media, he expressed concerning that Kyiv might attack Russian territory. The head of the German government has also publicly expressed fears that providing Ukraine with Taurus missiles would allegedly lead to an escalation.

Ukraine multiple times stated that it will not use Western long-range missiles to strike Russian territory.

German parliament twice failed to support Scholz's call for the transfer of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. On Jan. 17, only 178 out of 666 MPs voted in favor of this decision. On Feb. 22, the Bundestag voted to supply Ukraine with "long-range weapons," but did not mention the Taurus.

Read also: Germany yet to decide on Taurus long-range missile provision to Ukraine – German Defense Ministry

Christian Freuding, head of the special staff for Ukraine at the German Ministry of Defense, said that long-range Taurus missiles could not turn the tide of the war in favor of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Feb. 5.

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