Espreso. Global

How can Ukraine receive more Western cruise missiles?

25 January, 2024 Thursday
20:56

It is essentially the swapping arrangements that have previously helped Ukraine obtain a number of different weapons

Defense Express reports.

The supply of long-range Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missiles to Ukraine was supposed to be resolved earlier this week, but Germany recently failed to vote on the matter. By now, this should have been a purely formal process, and it was even stated that Germany would not limit the cruise missiles' range.

However, as mentioned in the Handelsblatt piece, the UK has now put out a very intriguing possibility for Germany to support the bolstering of the Armed Forces of Ukraine's long-range capabilities without actually sending cruise missiles to that country.

The idea is rather straightforward and is essentially a swapping deal where Germany actively assisted in providing Ukraine with Soviet equipment while donor nations replenished their stockpiles with Western weapons from other countries.

At the same time, the UK is offering Germany to send them a certain number of Taurus cruise missiles, while the UK will reinforce the Ukrainian Armed Forces with more Storm Shadow missiles. As noted in the publication, Germany received such a proposal a few weeks ago, the details of the possible deal have not been disclosed, and there are no official comments yet.

In fact, Germany can "remove" any concerns it may have previously expressed about the possibility that its cruise missiles would be used to attack Russian Federation territory. Furthermore, the matter of the adaptation procedure of Taurus missiles to Soviet aircraft is also being discarded. Experts stated that the process may take up to six months, which would include two months for adaptation and an additional four months for staff and pilot training.

But it's still unclear if Germany actually has enough missiles to send some of them to the UK. Earlier media reported that there were several hundred combat-ready missiles, which severely restricts the Germans' capacity to "search" for "extra" missiles.

However, it is also worth mentioning the recent statement by the head of Taurus Systems GmbH (part of MBDA), Joachim Knopf, who noted that they could start production of Taurus cruise missiles as soon as possible, as well as restore stocks and integrate them into platforms, but only if there are orders for these weapons.

As a reminder, the Ukrainian forces are currently armed with and successfully using long-range cruise missiles Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG. Earlier this month, it was reported that France would provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with an additional 40 missiles. 

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