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Der Spiegel: German arms manufacturer in talks about building tank plant in Ukraine
German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall is in talks with Ukrainian officials about building a tank plant in Ukraine, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on March 4.
Estimated to cost around 200 million euros, the plant could produce up to 400 Panther main battle tanks per year.
The Panther is a new concept tank model based on the Leopard-2 tank, which could provide Ukraine with a significant equipment advantage as both Ukraine and Russia currently rely on Soviet-designed tanks.
“Ukraine needs 600 to 800 tanks for a victory,” said Armin Papperger, the head of Rheinmetall.
“Even if Germany gave up all 300 Leopard 2 tanks available to the Bundeswehr, that would still be far too few."
Papperger described the negotiations with the Ukrainian government as "promising" and hoped for a decision within the next two months.
On Jan. 25, Germany agreed to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allowed the re-export of the same models from other countries.
Ukraine hopes to receive up to two brigades of tanks, on top of many infantry vehicles from Western allies. However, the West may not be able to supply two full battalions of Leopard 2 tanks as they previously promised, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Feb. 15, according to Bloomberg.