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Taurus air-launched cruise missile

The Taurus KEPD 350 is a product of Taurus Systems GmbH, a joint venture between MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Saab Bofors Dynamics. The development of the missile started in 1998 and was completed in 2005.

The missile was designed to penetrate hardened and deeply buried targets, such as bunkers, command and control centres, as well as airfields, ports, ammunition depots, ships, and bridges.

The missile has a dual-stage warhead called MEPHISTO (multi-effect penetrator highly sophisticated and target optimised), which consists of a pre-charge and an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter the target, followed by a main charge with a variable delay fuze to detonate inside the target.

The missile is powered by a Williams WJ38-15 turbofan engine that allows it to fly at speeds of Mach 0.95 (about 1,150 km/h or 715 mph) at low altitudes of 30 to 70 m (98 to 230 ft) above the ground. The missile has a length of 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in), a diameter of 1.08 m (3 ft 7 in), a wingspan of 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in), and a weight of 1,400 kg (3,100 lb). The missile can be carried by various combat aircraft, such as Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, F/A-18 Hornet, F-15K Strike Eagle, and Gripen.

The missile uses a combination of inertial navigation system (INS), image-based navigation (IBN), terrain-referenced navigation (TRN), and global positioning system (GPS) to guide itself to the target. The missile also has a high-resolution infrared camera that can support the navigation and the target acquisition. The missile has stealth features that reduce its radar cross-section and infrared signature. The missile also has self-defence mechanisms and electronic countermeasures to evade enemy air defences.

The Taurus KEPD 350 is currently in service with Germany, Spain, and South Korea. Germany ordered 600 missiles in 2002 and received the first batch in 2005. Spain ordered 43 missiles in 2006 and received them in 2009. South Korea ordered 170 missiles in 2013 and received them in 2016. The missile has been tested and evaluated by several other countries, such as Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, India, and Turkey.

The Taurus KEPD 350 is one of the most advanced air-launched cruise missiles in the world. It offers a long-range, precise, stealthy, and versatile strike capability against hard and soft targets. It is a formidable weapon that can enhance the air power of any country that possesses it.

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