Airbus CEO Suggests Germany Could Supply Taurus Missiles to Ukraine Without German Personnel

Airbus CEO suggests Germany can supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine without German personnel, contradicting Scholz's claims. This could significantly impact the conflict, highlighting the debate over Germany's military support for Ukraine.

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Wojciech Zylm
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Airbus CEO Suggests Germany Could Supply Taurus Missiles to Ukraine Without German Personnel

Airbus CEO Suggests Germany Could Supply Taurus Missiles to Ukraine Without German Personnel

In a significant development, Airbus Defense and Space CEO Michael Schoellhorn has suggested that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz could supply Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine without deploying German personnel. This contradicts Scholz's earlier claims that German involvement prevents the delivery of these long-range weapons capable of striking deeper into Russian territory.

Scholz has repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine, citing the need for German military technicians to operate them. However, Schoellhorn believes that if there was the political will, technological solutions could be found to use the Taurus missiles in Ukraine without German participation. "Technological solutions could be found to use the Taurus missiles in Ukraine without German involvement," Schoellhorn stated.

The Taurus KEPD-350 is an air-launched cruise missile with a range of up to 500km, which would allow Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian territory compared to other missiles currently in use. Ukraine has specifically requested the Taurus missiles to target the Crimean Bridge, a key transport link between the peninsula and the Russian mainland.

Why this matters: The potential delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine could significantly impact the ongoing conflict, enabling Ukrainian forces to strike strategic targets deep within Russian-controlled territory. This development also highlights the ongoing debate within Germany regarding its level of military support for Ukraine.

While the Ukrainian military would need to develop adapters or acquire aircraft capable of carrying the Taurus missiles, Schoellhorn suggests that Scholz's refusal to deliver the weapons is more of a political decision than a technical one. Schoellhorn also criticized the pace of Germany's defense capability increase, stating that the implementation of the government's announced measures is insufficient and that defense should be made a top priority with increased spending and production.

The debate over the Taurus missile delivery reflects the broader discussion on Germany's defense priorities and capabilities, and the need for a comprehensive defense strategy, sustainable investment in defense capabilities, and a careful evaluation of the implications of military interventions. As Schoellhorn noted, "If there was a willingness for delivery, technological solutions could be found to allow the Taurus to be used in Ukraine without German participation."

Key Takeaways

  • Airbus CEO suggests Taurus missiles can be delivered to Ukraine without German troops.
  • Scholz previously rejected Taurus delivery, citing need for German technicians to operate them.
  • Taurus missiles have 500km range, allowing Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian territory.
  • Debate highlights Germany's defense priorities and capability development pace.
  • Airbus CEO criticizes insufficient implementation of Germany's defense capability increase.