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Rheinmetall wants to produce artillery shells in Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek February 17, 2024 10:04 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin and Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger during the signing of a memorandum on ammunition production in Ukraine on Feb. 17, 2024, in Munich, Germany. (Rheinmetall/X)
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The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall signed a memorandum of intent with a Ukrainian company on the production of artillery shells directly in Ukraine, Rheinmetall said on Feb. 17.

The document was signed at the Munich Security Conference by Ukraine's Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin and Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger.

Artillery ammunition is among the most crucial supplies Ukraine needs to fend off Russian aggression. An increase in domestic production would be a significant boon for Ukraine amid delays in U.S. military assistance.

Rheinmetall will hold a 51% share in the joint venture, while the Ukrainian firm will have 49%.

The name of the Ukrainian partner company, the location of the plant, and the start of the production have not been revealed for security reasons.

"Six-digit number of 155 mm caliber... (rounds) to be produced per year, including propelling charges," Rheinmetall said on the social media platform X.

Ukraine has traditionally not produced NATO standard 155 mm rounds, which are commonly used by many Western artillery systems supplied to the besieged country. Kamyshin said in December 2023 that he had also signed a partnership with two U.S. companies to produce these vital shells in Ukraine, although production will not start for at least two years.

As the allied assistance grows uncertain, Kyiv has been seeking to localize weapons production at home, attracting Western defense firms to set up shop in Ukraine.

Rheinmetall has been leading the way. In October 2023, the German arms company signed a contract with the Ukrainian Defense Industry to repair and produce armored vehicles directly in Ukraine in a joint plant.

Rheinmetall aims to start production of armored vehicles in Ukraine in 2024
German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall plans to build the first armored vehicles on-site in Ukraine from the summer of 2024, CEO Armin Papperger said in an interview with German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche on Dec. 2.

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