KEPD 350 MAW Taurus
KEPD 150 is a member of the TAURUS family of advanced long range, high precision stand-off weapon systems. It will provide the JAS 39 Gripen with an enhanced strike capability against a broad target spectrum. The accuracy and stand-off capability ensure highly effective weapons delivery while minimising the threat to aircraft and crew and largely avoiding collateral damage.
The KEPD 150 successfully performed its first captive flight test on JAS 39 Gripen at the FMV Test Center in Linköping, Sweden, on 27 August 1998. The test was part of the definition phase contracted by the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV). The KEPD 150 can be operational with the JAS 39 Gripen within five years. KEPD 150 has a high degree of commonality with the MAW TAURUS - KEPD 350 being in full scale development at TAURUS Systems GmbH for the German Air Force TORNADO under contract from the German BWB.
The Taurus KEPD 350 is the first European Global Positioning System guided missile with large range (over 350 kilometers) against surface and point targets. The MAW Taurus possesses a modular avionics system, an infrared seeker, a Penetrator (Mephisto), and a turbo-fan engine for speeds greater than 0.8 Mach. TAURUS KEPD 350E is designed to penetrate dense air defences by utilising very low level terrain-following flight in order to neutralise high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets.
Its highly effective dual stage warhead system MEPHISTO, combines the capability of defeating Hard and Deeply Buried Targets (HDBT) and a blast and fragmentation capability to take out high-value point and area targets.
The weapon system contains the world’s only programmable multi-purpose fuze, enabling detonation of the penetrator at a pre-selected floor within the target structure by utilizing layer counting and void sensing technologies. n addition to Mephisto, the Taurus can also carry other charges, such as streaming ammo, a highly explosive splinter bomb against soft targets, or a "microwave bomb," which can destroy electronics.
Unit price: about 950,000 euros. By 2014 Germany and Spain had bought a total of 600 or 43 pieces for their air force, South Korea has ordered 200, some countries such as India and Canada have signaled interest. Sweden has not yet developed the system that has been developed in the arsenal - but this could soon change.
The Swedish defense contractor Bofors worked with DASA on the development of a new cruise missile - the MAW Taurus KEPD 350, which will be fitted on the Tornado aircraft of the German Air Force. It can also be adapted for the Eurofighter. Delivery was scheduled for 2001. TAURUS KEPD 350E - the modular stand-off weapon system for precision strikes against hardened and high-value point and area targets - is deployed on the German Tornado IDS and the Spanish EF-18 aircraft. Integration onto the Korean F-15K aircraft is ongoing and planned onto Eurofighter for both, the German and Spanish customer nation.
The project is managed by TAURUS Systems GmbH, a joint venture company owned by Dasa/LFK-Lenkflugkörper-systeme GmbH (67%) and Celsius AB, Bofors Missiles (33%). Whether the Taurus will be developed also for Sweden, which currently does not have any cruise missiles, was not initially decided.
By 2014 the Ukrainian crisis and the increasingly aggressive presence of Russia have, as is known, led to a rethinking of the military policy in neutral Sweden. After many years of financial leeway from the military and its enormous shrinkage, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's liberal-conservative government had significantly increased military budgets and The purchase of new weapon systems, including Gripen fighters and submarines. In the meantime, a weapon which is on the wish list of the Swedish military and the government was the irborne "Taurus" cruisers, with a range to cover targets far from the Swedish airspace - to put it bluntly: still deep in the Russian hinterland. This would be the first time that Sweden had such an extensive offensive weapon system. "It will provide our armed forces with a new capability and make our entire defense much more effective," said Defense Minister Karin Enström.
Between 19 and 30 September 2016, the Spanish Taurus Arms System Implementation Plan continued with a campaign of live missile launches carried out at the Vidsel shooting range in Sweden. For this campaign, four F-18s from the 12th and 15th Wings, and a Tactical Expeditionary Air group have been transferred to the region. They have been preceded by an advanced team which coordinates and collaborates with personnel from the shooting range to receive the equipment being used in the campaign.
In addition to the launching of the Taurus missile, the Air Force is taking advantage of the deployment to launch a variety of precision arms. The campaign consisted of four phases: preparation, deployment, execution and withdrawal. The final objective is to train crews in the launching of this type of armament, whilst always giving the highest priority to flight security over any other consideration.
The operation was directed by Air Combat Command (MACOM), and includes the participation of the following groups: the 12th Wing, the 15th Wing, the Taurus Cell from the 47th Mixed Group of the Air Force, the Arms and Experimentation Logistical Centre (CLAEX), the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA), and support personnel from other units.
The company details are somewhat complicated and unnecessary, because the company names and designs have changed several times over the time. TAURUS Systems GmbH is a center of excellence acting as the prime contractor and design authority for the TAURUS weapon system and its future derivatives. TAURUS Systems GmbH was founded in 1998 and its shareholders are MBDA Deutschland GmbH (67%) as well as SAAB Dynamics AB (33%). TAURUS Systems Korea (TSK) was founded in 2014 and is located in Seoul, Korea.
MBDA Deutschland is a leader in the development and production of air defence and guided missile systems for the German Army, Navy and Air Force. The company possesses production and management experience from over 50 years of industrial participation in national and international air defence and guided missile programmes. These include the ground-based MEADS tactical air defence system as well as Patriot, the Rolling Air Frame Missile (RAM) and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) for naval deployment, the Meteor and TAURUS missiles, developed in European cooperation for airborne forces, and the MILAN system and the PARS 3 LR helicopter armament for ground forces.
MBDA Deutschland is a part of the European MBDA group. The company operates sites in Schrobenhausen, Ulm and Aschau am Inn. MBDA is jointly owned by the Airbus Group (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (25%).
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