“We are very actively engaged in this. The President holds negotiations or meetings every day to speed up the delivery of what has already been promised and to secure new commitments from partners for sending us weapons,” Kuleba said according to state news agency Ukrinform.
He added: “There are, of course, some super-priority topics – these are, first of all, air defense systems. We are actively working on obtaining ATACMS from the USA and Taurus from Germany. There is progress on both tracks.”
Kuleba noted that the final decisions are yet to be made in Berlin and Washington.
Ukraine has long argued for strong air defenses to protect against Russian aerial assaults and be capable to return fire. In August, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine’s defenses were not yet capable of protecting its whole territory against Russian attacks.
Also in August, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he requested the US provide Ukraine with the ATACMS long-range missiles in a phone call with US Secretary of State.
As for the Taurus, Kuleba had called on Berlin to provide the long range missiles as soon as possible. He said that with the Taurus missiles, Ukraine could “reach the Russian occupying forces on Ukrainian soil far beyond the front line, disrupt their logistics and destroy command centers and ammunition depots.”
According to US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the ATACMS is a long-range guided missile that gives operational commanders the immediate firepower to win the deep battle. Each ATACMS missile is packaged in a MLRS look-alike launch pod and is fired from the MLRS Family of Launchers. It carries a WDU18, 500-lb class blast fragmentation warhead and has a maximum range of 300 km.
According to German missile systems company MBDA Deutschland GmbH, the Taurus is a modular stand-off weapon system for precision strikes against hardened and high-value point and area targets. It is designed to penetrate dense air defenses by utilizing very low level terrain-following flight in order to neutralize high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets. Its highly effective dual stage warhead system MEPHISTO, combines the capability of defeating Hard and Deeply Buried Targets (HDBT) and a blast and fragmentation capability to take out high-value point and area targets.