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Rheinmetall sending prototypes of 100km shells to Ukraine

Rheinmetall boosting output of artillery ammunition, sending Ukraine prototypes of 100 km range shells along with hundreds of thousands regular rounds in 2024.
Sweden to boost 155mm artillery ammo production for Ukraine
155mm artillery ammunition. Photo:
Rheinmetall sending prototypes of 100km shells to Ukraine

German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall is focusing its production efforts on artillery ammunition to aid Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion. The company’s CEO Armin Papperger stated that Rheinmetall will deliver “hundreds of thousands” of artillery rounds to Ukraine this year. Notably, these will include prototypes of shells with a range of 100 kilometers, according to Handelsblatt.

Defense Express notes that the most long-range 155-mm ammunition listed in Germany’s defense aid to Ukraine is the Vulcano, and last year’s Germany’s supplies of laser designators for this artillery ammunition hinted at the advanced Vulcano GLR variant capable of reaching up to 70 km when fired from 52-caliber artillery systems.

Papperger emphasized that artillery is proving to be a  “game changer” in the Russo-Ukrainian war. While Russia has been firing massive amounts of artillery, Ukraine’s ability to respond has been hampered by shortages of ammunition. The Rheinmetall CEO assessed that “the Western world is not equipped for a conventional war,” with production capacities for artillery munitions having declined over recent years in Europe and the US.

Prior to Russia’s all-out war, Rheinmetall had an annual capacity of only around 70,000 artillery shells. However, the company expects to ramp this up to 700,000 rounds in 2024 and 1.1 million in the medium-term. New artillery plants are being established in Unterlüß, Germany as well as in Lithuania. Plans are also underway for a facility in Ukraine itself through a local joint venture.

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