Taurus is an German/Swedish air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by EADS, Saab Bofors Dynamics and used by Germany and Sweden. It is very similar to the Anglo/French Storm Shadow.
The stealthy missile Taurus KEPD 350 has a range in excess of over 350km and the KEPD 150 has a range of over 150km. Taurus is powered by a turbojet at mach 0.8~0.9 and can be carried by the Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen and F/A-18 aircraft. The warhead features an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a bunker, then a variable delay fuse to control detonation of the main warhead. The missile weights about 1,400kg has a maximum body diameter of 1m. Intended targets are command, control and communications; airfield facilities; port facilities; AMS/ammunition storage; ships/submarines in ports and bridges.
Mission planners program the missile with the target, air defence locations and planned ground path, then the missile uses a low terrain-hugging flight path guided by IBN (Image Based Navigation), TRN (Terrain Reference Navigation) and GPS (Global Positioning System) to the proximity of the target. Taurus is the world's only precision stand-off guided missile system that is capable of navigating over long distances without GPS support. Once there the missile commences a bunt (climb) manoeuver to an altitude intended to achieve the best probability of target acquisition and penetration. During the bunt, the nose cone is jettisoned to allow a high resolution infra-red camera to see the target area. The missile attempts to match the target image with the planned target. If it can't and there is a high risk of collateral damage, it will steer to a pre-designated crash point instead of risking an inaccurate attack with undesired consequences.
Taurus is also attracting great interest in other countries. Spain has a military requirement for a modern stand-off guided missile to arm its Eurofighters and also wants to use this on its F/A 18 aircraft. In the past, the Spanish Air Force has carried out successful captive flights of Taurus KEPD 350 on its F/A 18 aircraft and has spoken in favour of the missile. Canada and Australia are also interested in the precision stand-off guided missile system.
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