The German government is still reluctant to supply Ukraine with Taurus (Taurus – Latin) cruise missiles. NATO diplomats say it is only a matter of time before Kiev is given weapons with a range of 500 km. Where does their faith come from? This remains an open question.
One thing is certain: If Berlin’s allies decide to transfer enough German weapons to Ukraine, Russia can defend itself. Especially if Denmark and the Netherlands deliver the promised F16 fighter jets to Ukraine next year.
Also, according to media reports, Washington has agreed to deploy ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 km, which are reportedly already on their way to Ukraine.
But behind closed doors in Brussels, diplomats are making their own stand Two important questions. Are Washington and Berlin seriously interested in the Ukrainian armed forces cutting off supplies to Russian troops in Crimea using Taurus and ATACMS missiles? ? Could a conflict over Crimea, important to Moscow, threaten to escalate the war into which the West would be drawn?
“Definitely not enough”
How many Taurus and ATACMS missiles will eventually be delivered to Ukraine will be decisive for the further development of the situation. – It is very important not only to provide powerful and modern weapon systems, but also to provide them No – said Markus Reisner, historian, military expert and officer of the Austrian Armed Forces.
Reisner also mentioned the delivery of US missile launchers HimarsIt played an important role in the revival Kharkov And Gerson by Ukrainian forces last summer. – Around 20 such systems have been delivered so far and another 18 are on the way. He said this is definitely not enough in the long run.
Five Arguments for Taurus Missiles
Taurus cruise missiles – developed in cooperation between Germany and Sweden and manufactured in Bavaria. Ukraine is particularly important at this stage of the war for several reasons.
First, the Ukrainian battlefield could soon turn to mud. Tanks and other types of heavy equipment can be very difficult to operate. Although Taurus missiles must be launched from an aircraft, compared to other types of guided weapons, they Less dependent on weather and can hit targets accurately even in heavy snowfall or storms.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte pose for a photo in front of F16 jets after concluding the supply agreement. The Netherlands, August 20, 2023
Second, similar Storm Shadow and Scalp cruise missiles (supplied by the UK and France) are being phased out, and The Ukrainian military needs replacements. In addition, Taurus missiles are significantly more effective than Storm Shadow and Scalp, which have been reduced from 560 to 350 km for use in Ukraine.
Thirdly, though While Kiev’s counteroffensive has progressed more slowly than experts predicted, it has scored important victories over the past two weeks. For example, Ukrainian offensives have put pressure on Russian forces in Crimea and the Black Sea. The Ukrainians managed to break through the Russian defenses, in the city of Verbov, north of Melitopol, and south of Origiv in Zaporizhia province.
Vulnerable points of Russia
With Taurus missiles, Ukrainian forces could destroy the strategically important Kerch Bridge (Crimean Bridge), which connects Crimea to Russia and is a key supply route for the Russian military. Kiev’s main goal is to ensure that the peninsula will not be Moscow’s base for waging war in southern Ukraine.
Two previous attacks on the Kerch bridge — using an explosives-laden truck and a maritime drone — failed to topple the structure’s massive piers and temporarily damaged the road. Storm shadow and scalp cannot do this.
— but the Taurus cruise missile’s fuse makes it possible to hit and destroy bridges, Reisner added. According to him, German missiles – unlike ballistic ATACMS – are also “Very difficult to intercept and very resistant For maneuvers that fly at altitudes below 50 meters, they are difficult to detect and move at speeds of nearly 1,200 km/h, nearly the speed of sound.
Fourth, the long range of the Taurus cruise missiles will force Russian forces in Crimea to reintegrate, which would be time-consuming and create confusion that Kiev could exploit. German Tauruses can effectively destroy positions and command centers, logistics centers and arsenals in occupied Crimea and elsewhere.
The missing piece of the puzzle
Their use will launch ground offensives by providing an appropriate number of Taurus missiles during the next offensive after spring 2024. Ukraine’s offensive capabilities could be significantly improved. The sooner the German weapons reach the Ukrainians the better. New weapons and the prospect of further victories boost the morale of the Ukrainian armed forces ahead of the coming winter.
The fifth will be done by Taurus Swedish Gripen and F-16 fighter jets will be more useful in future. Can be used as machinery Carriers for cruise missiles from Germany.
Kiev uses modified Russian Su-24Ms to fire Storm Shadow and Scalp missiles. Built since the early 1970s, these tactical bombers can also carry the Taurus weapon with relatively simple modifications.
– At the beginning of the war, Ukraine had 12 Su-24Ms, now their number can be from six to eight. […] This means that Taurus cruise missiles don’t have many platforms, so the number of hits will automatically be lower – and Russia is trying everything to eliminate these remaining planes, the Austrian military expert added.
However, the German government is still reluctant to deliver. The audience isn’t sure Berlin wants to wait until Washington officially announces the delivery of ATACMS.. Also, only about 150 of the 600 Taurus cruise missiles in German stockpiles are fully operational. According to politicians of the ruling coalition, they can be transferred to Ukraine Threatens Germany’s defense capabilities.
Ukraine kept its promise, and so should Germany
According to members of the NATO community, Berlin’s arguments are “not entirely justified.” The chancellor’s office justifies its refusal, saying, among other things, that Kiev could use Taurus. Attacking targets on Russian territory. However, such action is not illegal under international law, as Ukraine is defending itself against Russian aggression, including attacks on its territory.
In addition, Paris and London coordinated closely with Kiev before delivering Scalp and Storm Shadow cruise missiles. So far, Moscow has not reported the presence of remnants of French and British-made missiles on its territory. That’s what it means Ukraine kept its promiseIt will not attack Russian territory using modified weapons. Most likely, Kiev will do the same with Taurus missiles.
Berlin’s latest argument is that before handing over the Taurus, the Bundeswehr must also provide geospatial data on specific targets, which would require the approval of the Bundestag. In turn, according to international experts, Ukrainians can plan cruise missiles on their own.
Unless Berlin deliberately wants to significantly limit the capabilities and reach of the Taurus system, thus tightly controlling the data. It didn’t irritate Russian President Vladimir Putin.
– It would be a pity if it was a bull Suddenly he became an ox – Reisner concluded.
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