German defense company Rheinmetall plans to provide a significant amount of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, with the capacity to deliver up to 600,000 rounds per year, according to CEO Armin Papperger, Handelsblatt reports. The announcement followed a visit from EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton to Rheinmetall’s factory in Unterlüß, Lower Saxony.
The European Union has pledged to supply Ukraine with one million artillery shells annually to aid the country in defending against Russian aggression. However, the ammunition supply is running low due to intense fighting, prompting the EU to explore options to bridge the gap. Rheinmetall, already the largest Western ammunition manufacturer with an annual output of 450,000 shells, can expand its production to 600,000-700,000 artillery rounds per year.
The possible expansion in the field of artillery shells would be a major effort, which will take some time. “Since we can expand the existing factories, these works should be completed in one to one and a half years,” said the CEO. Papperger estimates the cost of increasing production at 200 to 250 million euros.
The EU Commission has made €500 million available, with EU member states matching the amount, resulting in a total of €1 billion in subsidies. Expanding Rheinmetall’s production capabilities to meet Ukraine’s needs will require investments of €200-250 million, with the majority of funds being spent in Germany.
Tags: Rheinmetall AG