Taurus Systems GmbH (TSG), the manufacturer of the Taurus KEPD 350K, modular stand-off missile is gauging Japanese interest in the weapon system. Japan recently announced a need for counterstrike missile capability and Taurus Systems is showcasing the weapon system at DSEI Japan to explore opportunities for the weapon with the Japanese self-defence forces.
The company is proposing the integration of the missile on Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) Mitsubishi F-2s and Boeing F-15s. “With Japan expressing a need for counterstrike capability, the Taurus weapon system is an excellent candidate for this requirement, and we are looking at cooperating with Japanese industry,” a company official said at the show. Taurus Systems is looking at offering the setting up of in-country maintenance facilities, upgrades and joint development with Japanese industry, the official said.
There is already a requirement for a longer range version of the Taurus KEPD 350K, which has a quoted range of approximately 500 km. The official stated that countries are expressing a need for greater range, and the company was looking at developing a 1000 km range variant of the missile. Should Japan decide to partner Taurus Systems on the co-development of such a variant, if could also benefit from the economies of scale from future export orders, the official said.
He noted that the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has been operating its F-15Ks with the Taurus KEPD 350K since 2016 and as a result integrating the missile on JASDF F-15s would pose little risk. Two Taurus KEPD 350K can be carried on ROKAF F-15Ks. The other customers for the Taurus KEPD 350K are Germany and Spain.
The Taurus KEPD 350K weighs nearly 1.4 tonne and makes its way to the target at a very low terrain-following level aided by INS/GPS guidance. The missile contains a highly effective dual stage warhead system, with penetration capabilities for hard and deeply buried targets and blast-and-fragmentation capabilities against point and area targets.
MBDA Deutschland GmbH of Germany and Saab Dynamics AB of Sweden are shareholders in Taurus Systems.
by Asian Military Review, DSEI Japan 2023