Manufacturer says Germany has stopped producing Taurus missiles due to lack of new order

The arms maker MBDA cannot produce more munitions without an order from Berlin, Thomas Gottschild has said

The production of Taurus missiles, which Kiev has been pressuring Berlin to supply amid the conflict with Russia, is currently suspended, the head of the German branch of European arms manufacturer MBDA said. Around 600 Taurus missiles have so far been produced at a facility in the State of Bavaria, but the company cannot make more of them because it has no current contract with the German authorities, Thomas Gottschild said in an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper on Saturday. The production lines for the Taurus are still available, so MBDA could “ramp up” deliveries of the missiles “at any time,” the executive said. “To do this, however, we would need a new order for these weapons,” he added. The company cannot make reserves of the missiles because it is prohibited under German law, he explained. The halt in production is always a “challenge” for the defense industry, Gottschild stressed. “Our suppliers, who are often small and medium-sized enterprises… often cannot afford financially to maintain production lines. So if we were to receive new orders for the Taurus, our suppliers would first have to reposition themselves and, for example, secure the raw materials they need,” he explained.

The Taurus missile has a range of over 500km (around 310 miles) and “is only detected very late by radar” as it moves at a low altitude, the executive said. “This capability profile is in high demand, especially in Ukraine.” However, Gottschild declined to answer a question on whether Kiev should be given the missiles, calling it a “political decision” that should be made by the German government. Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubled down on his refusal to provide Ukraine with Taurus missiles in mid-March, telling parliament that “this is a very long-range weapon” that could not be used without the deployment of German soldiers.” The statement was made just over a week after the publication by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan of a leaked recording, in which high-ranking German officers discussed the possible use of Taurus missiles against the Crimean Bridge, and spoke about maintaining plausible deniability in the event of such an attack on Russian territory. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the leak “once again confirms the direct involvement of… the so-called collective West in the conflict around Ukraine,” while Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, suggested that it revealed Germany’s “new colors,” portraying it as “lying, mean, aggressive, revanchist and Russophobic.”

The German authorities confirmed the authenticity of the recording, but claimed that Moscow took the conversation out of context in an attempt to cause division among Ukraine’s allies in the West.