Taurus KEPD 350 in series configuration successfully completes test campaign in South Africa
Munich, 26 November 2002
The free flight of the Taurus KEPD 350 precision standoff guided missile system, FV 1 (verification missile 1), on 21 November 2002 at the test range in Overberg/South Africa was a complete success. For the first time, the missile used corresponded to the series configuration. The free flight campaign was the last of a total of five within the scope of the development work and provided both a verification of the required features and final validation of the simulation models. The free flight was conducted by TAURUS Systems GmbH (TSG) and led by the Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61 (WTD 61) with the support of the German Air Force.
"The free flight campaign which was carried out successfully for Taurus KEPD 350 is an example of the excellent system capability of EADS/LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH, the largest guided missile system company in Germany. My thanks go to the whole Taurus team. Together with our Swedish partner SAAB Bofors Dynamics, we have achieved excellent results in an extremely short development time," said Werner Kaltenegger, CEO of EADS/LFK.
The test campaign took place under quasi-operational conditions as regards both target erection and flight path. Using the newly developed Taurus KEPD 350 mission planning station, the flight path and all other important mission data were calculated and transmitted to the missile. This was safely released in a twin configuration from the right shoulder station of the Tornado carrier aircraft at a flight altitude of 4,500 metres and reached the target with extreme precision after flying its full operational range.
"We are proud that we have been able to demonstrate the high operational performance of Taurus KEPD 350 through the last free flight within the scope of the industrial testing," said Dr. Wolfgang Blaschke, Managing Director of TSG. "The complete system as well as all the subsystems operated perfectly. We are tremendously pleased with this great success and wish to thank the colleagues from WTD 61 and the Luftwaffe for their professional cooperation."
In detail, the operational functional efficiency of the unique Tri-Tec navigation system in particular was confirmed during the free flight campaign. Its outstanding navigation capabilities were attained by the linking of sensor data from the IBN (Image Based Navigation), TRN (Terrain Reference Navigation) und MIL-GPS (Global Positioning System) subsystems. In addition, the operational performance of the guidance, control and propulsion system was demonstrated. This system allows high-precision flight control at variable speeds along the flight path predefined by mission planning.
Furthermore, the agility and stability of the flight mechanics were proven over a wide spectrum of flight profiles. The FV1 flew at speeds ranging from Mach 0.65 to 0.95 at flight altitudes between 30 and 4,500 metres and under high lateral acceleration. It also carried out terrain-following flight at an extremely low level and a high pop-up manoeuvre.
Last but not least, the hit accuracy and the penetration effectiveness of the inert Mephisto warhead system were also impressively confirmed.
The modular precision standoff guided missile system Taurus KEPD 350 has been designed as a point target weapon for deployment from the Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft. The development contract covered not only system design but also development, integration on the Tornado carrier aircraft and overall system verification of Taurus KEPD 350. Here, for the first time, tasks connected with integrating the missile on the carrier aircraft were included in the development contract and were the overall responsibility of TSG.
Following the positive decision taken by the German Bundestag, on 8 August 2002 the Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) awarded the contract worth a total of € 570 million to TAURUS Systems GmbH for production investment, series production and the establishment of logistic supportability for the precision standoff guided missile system MAW Taurus KEPD 350.
Experience has shown that there is an urgent need for high-precision standoff guided missile systems that are capable of combating military targets from a great range without endangering the mission aircraft or civilian facilities in the close vicinity of the predefined target.
TAURUS Systems GmbH, with registered offices in Schrobenhausen, is a joint venture between EADS/LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme (two thirds) and SAAB Bofors Dynamics (one third) set up for the development, production and global marketing of Taurus precision standoff guided missile systems.
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