The construction of a new Rheinmetall plant in Germany is starting, which will increase Germany’s capacity to produce artillery shells, and Ukraine will receive several hundred thousand shells this year alone.
Source: European Pravda with reference to DW
Details: The facility is being built by the defence contractor Rheinmetall in the town of Unterlüs, located between Hannover and Hamburg, where the company already has its production facilities.
The construction of the new artillery ammunition plant comes amid increased demand as allies seek to increase supplies to Ukraine and maintain their own stockpiles.
Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger told Tagesspiegel that Germany would be able to produce 200,000 artillery shells a year after the new plant is completed.
“Ukraine will receive several hundred thousand shells from us this year alone, as well as several dozen armoured personnel carriers and tanks,” he said.
The company, which won €10 billion worth of contracts from the German government last year and expects even more this year, also said it could pick up some of the tabs if the US cuts back or completely stops its support for Ukraine.
“We can still expand our production – both in Ukraine and in Germany,” Papperger said, referring to a new armoured vehicle plant being set up in Ukraine.
According to NDR, Rheinmetall has invested €300 million in the project and expects to create 500 new jobs. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant.
Earlier, Marc Theis, retired Belgian Armed Forces General, criticised the state of defence production in Europe, arguing that it would take years to build up capacity to meet the needs of European countries and help Ukraine.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell expects the EU to provide Ukraine with 1.155 million ammunition rounds by the end of 2024.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that Ukraine and Europe can work together to equalise the “artillery balance” with Russia, and the necessary work is underway.
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