Schrobenhausen, 08 November 2005
Operational testing of the Taurus KEPD 350 standoff guided missile system destined for the German Air Force has been successfully completed at Overberg / South Africa. The trials confirmed that Taurus KEPD 350 completely meets the system performance specifications for deployment in the mission environment. Following the successfully completed verifications, the Taurus weapon system will now be declared ready for deployment on the Tornado IDS combat aircraft. The first missiles will be delivered to the German Air Force before the end of November 2005 under the contract concluded with TAURUS Systems GmbH (TSG) in the year 2002. This provides for the delivery of 600 missiles in all. The operational testing was carried out under the responsibility of the Federal Office of Military Technology and Procurement (BWB). TSG, a subsidiary of EADS/LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH and the Swedish Saab Bofors Dynamics, provided support for the campaign conducted at the Overberg test range, which covers 43,000 hectares and has a 70-kilometre long coastline, thus offering ideal conditions for extensive trials.
"The successful completion of operational testing is of great strategic importance for the Taurus programme and the German missile industry," said Stefan Zoller, CEO of the EADS Defence & Security Systems Division. "Through this, Taurus has established itself as a successful product in the market for modern standoff weapons."
"In Taurus KEPD 350, the German Air Force is receiving the most powerful missile in its category. This missile system will in future help the Bundeswehr to even better fulfil the challenging tasks it has been entrusted with. The results of the trials have completely met our expectations, in particular with regard to the engagement of high-value targets," explained Werner Kaltenegger, Head of the EADS/LFK Business Unit and CEO of LFKLenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH.
"The combined efforts of all those involved – the Air Force, the Procurement Office BWB with its technical centres, the test range and from industry – have led to this success. My thanks go to everyone for the enormous commitment shown. In Taurus KEPD 350, our customers are receiving the currently most powerful standoff guided missile system, which also has considerable future potential," said Dr. Wolfgang Blaschke, Managing Director of TAURUS Systems GmbH.
The Taurus KEPD 350 guided missile system is planned as armament for the German Tornados and later Eurofighter in its air-to-ground role. In the wake of the successful field tests, the industry is expecting the order for integration on Eurofighter in the near future.
The system enables the precise engagement of high-value, stationary military point targets, thus enabling the Air Force to combat heavily defended targets without exposing their aircraft and crews to enemy air defences. Taurus KEPD 350 is equipped with a "Tri-Tec" navigation system. Its outstanding navigation capabilities are attained by the linking of sensor data from the IBN (Image Based Navigation), TRN (Terrain Reference Navigation) and MIL-GPS (Global Positioning System) subsystems. Taurus KEPD 350 is the world's only standoff guided missile system that does not rely on GPS navigation support while in flight. The all-weather missile can be deployed in a wide spectrum of mission profiles over ranges of more than 350 kilometres, flying at up to high subsonic speeds. Insofar as needed in order to penetrate enemy air defences, terrain-hugging flight paths can also be selected. This cruise missile weighs roughly 1,400 kilograms and is five metres long. A Tornado or Eurofighter aircraft can deploy up to two of these missiles simultaneously.
TAURUS Systems GmbH had already been able to log a first important export success prior to the operational testing in South Africa. Spain has also decided to procure Taurus KEPD 350. The Spanish Air Force is to receive 43 operational missiles for the armament of its F-18 and Eurofighter combat aircraft.
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.
EADS/LFK develops and manufactures guided missile systems and is an integrated part of the EADS Defence & Security Systems Division (DS). EADS Defence & Security Systems, with revenues of about € 5.4 billion in 2004 and roughly 23,000 employees across ten nations, forms the defence pole within EADS. It offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and homeland security units. It is active in the areas of military aircraft, missile systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), battlefield management systems, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, and related services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2004, EADS generated revenues of € 31.8 billion and employed a workforce of about 110,000.