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The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will open an armored vehicle plant in Ukraine within the next 12 weeks, the company's CEO Armin Papperger told CNN in an interview published on July 10.
The concern's director also announced plans to train Ukrainian staff to maintain tanks and other armored vehicles produced in that factory.
"(Ukrainians) have to help themselves — if they always have to wait (for) Europeans or Americans (to) help them over the next 10 or 20 years… that is not possible," Papperger said.
Rheinmetall's CEO revealed that the planned factory will be located in western Ukraine, protected from Russian strikes.
Papperger pointed out that at the moment, ammunition is a bigger priority for the Ukrainian military than tanks, adding that Rheinmetall plans to increase its production of artillery rounds from 100,000 to 600,000 next year. Much of that will be destined for Ukraine, the company's director said.
The German publication Rheinische Post reported on March 4 on Rheinmetall's plan to build a $220 million tank factory on Ukrainian soil. The plant would be able two produce up to 400 newly created Panther tanks per year, while its security should be assured by air defense systems.
On May 20, the company also informed that it wants to cooperate on manufacturing Fuchs armored personnel carriers with Ukraine's state concern Ukroboronprom (now Ukrainian Defense Industry).