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Rheinmetall receives order for 155 mm shells, calls it 'largest in company history'

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 20, 2024 6:57 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian soldier prepares 155mm artillery shells in his fighting position in Donetsk Oblast on Aug. 6, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall received a framework contract from the Bundeswehr for 155 mm artillery ammunition worth up to 8.5 billion euros ($9.1 billion), the company said on June 20.

The main purpose of this requisition is to restock the arsenals of the German military and its allies and to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine has made a wide-reaching shift to NATO standard 155 mm artillery, as Kyiv's partners had a short supply in stock of Soviet shell calibers like 122 mm and 152 mm.

The company called the latest order the largest in its history.

"This large-volume framework contract underlines Rheinmetall's leading role as an ammunition supplier in Germany and our position as the world's largest manufacturer of artillery ammunition," Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said.

Deliveries of the shells are to begin in early 2025. The German government will be the primary purchaser, which will then provide part of its supplies to Ukraine. The Netherlands, Estonia, and Denmark are also participating in the order, the company said.

The "entire value chain for artillery ammunition" will be produced at a plant in Unterluess, Lower Saxony, which opened in February. The factory is expected to reach a capacity of 100,000 projectiles per year in its second year of production and later increase it to 200,000 projectiles per year.

Several Western defense companies have been ramping up their defense production amid rising tensions with Russia and Ukraine's growing needs, with a particular focus on 155 mm shells and other ammunition.

Inside the Swedish ammunition plant at the forefront of Europe’s push to ramp up shell production
KARLSKOGA, SWEDEN – In a nondescript industrial area nestled among a forest of Swedish pine, a continent-wide effort to ramp up defense production is playing out in real time. A modest, one-story building is home to a seemingly endless ceiling-mounted rail — essentially an upside-down conveyor belt…

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