KEPD 350

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Taurus ILA2006.JPG
Type Long-range cruise missile
Place of origin Germany
Service history
In service 2005
Used by Germany
South Korea
Production history
Manufacturer Taurus Systems GmbH
Unit cost 950,000
Weight 1,500 kg
Length 5.0 m
Diameter 1.015 m
Warhead 481 kg[1] Mephisto (Multi-Effect Penetrator HIghly Sophisticated and Target Optimised)[2]

Engine Williams P8300-15 turbofan
Wingspan 2.065 m
500+ km[3]
Flight altitude 40–50 m
Speed Mach 1
IBN (image-based navigation), INS (inertial navigation system), TRN (terrain-referenced navigation) and MIL-GPS (Global Positioning System)
Integrated: Tornado, F/A-18, F-15K
(Tested: Gripen, Typhoon)[4]

Taurus KEPD 350[a] is a German air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by Taurus Systems and used by Germany, Spain and South Korea.[5] Taurus Systems GmbH is a partnership between MBDA Deutschland GmbH (formerly LFK) and Saab Bofors Dynamics.[6]


The missile incorporates stealth characteristics and has an official range in excess of 500 kilometres (300 mi).[7] Taurus is powered by a turbofan engine at Mach 1 and can be carried by Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen, F/A-18, and F-15K aircraft.

The double 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) warhead, called Mephisto (Multi-Effect Penetrator HIghly Sophisticated and Target Optimised),[2] features a precharge and initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a hardened underground bunker, then a variable delay fuze to control detonation of the main warhead. The missile weighs about 1,400 kg (3,100 lb) and has a maximum body diameter of 1 metre (3.3 ft). Intended targets are hardened bunkers; command, control, and communications facilities; airfield and port facilities; AMS[clarification needed] and ammunition storage; ships in port or at sea; and bridges.

The missile also includes counter measures as a self-defence mechanism and electronic counter measures.

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 INS, IBN, TRN, and GPS to the proximity of the target, although it is capable of navigating over very long distances without GPS support.[8] Once there the missile commences a bunt (climb) manoeuvre to an altitude intended to achieve the best probability of target acquisition and penetration. During the cruise flight a high resolution thermographic camera (infrared homing) can support the navigation by using IBN and is also used for GPS-free target attack. The missile attempts to match a camera image with the planned 3D target model (DSMAC). If it cannot, it defaults to the other navigation systems, or, if 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 Systems GmbH has also proposed an anti-ship variant.[9]


Spain's military bought 45 missiles. The integration of the Taurus in the Spanish Air Force service line has been certified by the successful completion of a dedicated test campaign in South Africa, carried out in May 2009.[10]

South Korea planned to order 200 missiles to integrate with their F-15K Slam Eagles after being refused Lockheed Martin's AGM-158 JASSM by Washington.[11] The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed the deal in November 2013. Taurus Systems will open an office in Seoul to handle various acquisition tasks and support technology-transfer and joint development of the next cruise missile. The office was the company's first outside of Germany, and the KEPD 350 is the first European missile to be integrated onto a Korean fighter aircraft.[12] In October 2016, South Korea announced it would acquire a further 90 Taurus missiles, in addition to the 170 previously ordered, in response to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations.[13] On 12 December 2016, the first 40 Taurus KEPD 350K missiles were delivered to the ROKAF,[14] which began deployment for combat use on 22 December 2016.[15]


A Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile at the ILA air show near Berlin in 2004.

The Taurus KEPD 350K variant for the ROKAF differs from the baseline model by being equipped with a Rockwell Collins GPS receiver with a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) to prevent jamming.[16]

In October 2015, Taurus Systems revealed it was developing a smaller version of the Taurus missile, called the 350K-2, for use on light fighters, particularly the South Korean FA-50. Range would be reduced to 400 km (250 mi) and it would have a cruise speed of Mach 0.6–0.9.[17]

In December 2016, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) revealed it plans to start development on its own indigenous long-range air-to-ground missile in 2018, based on the Taurus cruise missile. The weapon will be mounted on the KAI KF-X fighter, to be developed by the mid-2020s.[18]


Map with KEPD 350 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

Germany Germany
600 ordered for the Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado for €570 million[19] Deliveries ended in December 2010.[9]
43 ordered for the Spanish Air Force F/A-18.[20] Deliveries ended in August 2010.[9] The programme cost €60m.[21]
 South Korea
170 in services, 90 ordered, for use on the Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Target Adaptive Unitary and Dispenser Robotic Ubiquity System/Kinetic Energy Penetrator and Destroyer.


  1. ^ Kepd 350 (PDF), DE: Taurus systems, archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "First Taurus Cruise Missiles for Korea". C4Defence. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Datasheet" (PDF), Taurus Kepd 350 (PDF), MBDA, retrieved August 30, 2013
  4. ^ "Taurus KEPD 350 Modular stand-off missile system". Saab. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Abstandslenkflugkörpersystem: Erste Taurus an Südkorea übergeben".
  6. ^ "Gripen Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft, Sweden". Airforce technology. Projects. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
  7. ^ "Kepd 350". DE: Taurus systems. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
  8. ^ "Kepd 350". Defence Update. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c Hoyle, Craig. "Germany receives last Taurus cruise missile" Flight global, December 14, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  10. ^ "El Ejército del Aire incrementa su capacidad operativa con la integración del misil Taurus en el F-18". Ejercito del aire (in Spanish). ES: MDE. Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  11. ^ "S. Korea to buy bunker busting missiles from Europe". Reuters. April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  12. ^ "Taurus Systems to open Seoul office this week", The Korea Times, 11 May 2014.
  13. ^ South Korea plans to buy more Taurus missiles after North Korea's new nuclear test -, 4 October 2016
  14. ^ First batch of 40 Taurus KEPD 350K cruise missiles arrived in South Korea -, 13 December 2016
  15. ^ South Korea starts deploying Taurus cruise missile for combat use -, 22 December 2016
  16. ^ Jennings, Gareth (14 October 2016). "South Korea begins receiving Taurus cruise missiles". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  17. ^ South Korea plans to arm its FA-50 light combat fighters with new variant of the Taurus missile -, 23 October 2015
  18. ^ South Korea plans to develop Taurus-based air-to-ground missile -, 14 December 2016
  19. ^ "Taurus". EADS. Archived from the original on June 29, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  20. ^ Principales programas (in Spanish), Spain: MDE, archived from the original on October 20, 2008.
  21. ^ "Evaluación de los Programas Especiales de Armamento (PEAs), Ministerio de Defensa" (PDF). Atenea (in Spanish). Madrid: Grupo Atenea. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 24, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  22. ^ "(LEAD) S. Korea buys more Taurus missiles amid N.K. nuke threats". Yonhap. October 4, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

External links[edit]