German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will join forces with Ukraine's state-owned Ukrainian Defense Industry concern to repair and maintain Western-produced military vehicles and ultimately to produce them domestically in Ukraine, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Oct. 24.
The announcement came as Shmyhal was in Germany for the sixth German-Ukrainian business forum, where he also met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The joint Rheinmetall-Ukrainian Defense Industry was registered on Oct. 18, Shmyhal said.
"The creation of a joint enterprise is, without exaggeration, a landmark event that takes cooperation between our countries to a qualitatively new level."
It was first reported on Sept. 28 that there were plans for the joint venture to open in Kyiv. It would focus on the maintenance and repair of vehicles transferred to Ukraine as part of Germany's multilateral "Ringtausch" equipment exchange program.
Under this scheme, European allies are providing Ukraine with older Soviet equipment in exchange for German armaments.
As the next step, Rheinmetall wants to manufacture select products in Ukraine and even develop military systems by joint German-Ukrainian specialist teams further in the future.