Germany's Rheinmetall wants to build tank plant in Ukraine
German tank Leopard 2 (Photo:synaxonag/Wikipedia)
Germany's military hardware manufacturer Rheinmetall is in talks to build an army tank plant in Ukraine, CEO Armin Papperger told Der Spiegel on March 4.
"A Rheinmetall plant could be built in Ukraine for about EUR 200 million ($213 million)," he told the Rheinische Post.
Production could reach up to 400 Panther main battle tanks per year. The talks with the Ukrainian government are "promising" and Papperger hopes for a decision "within the next two months."
The CEO is convinced that the plant can be protected from Russian missile attacks, noting that "air defense is not a problem."
Ukraine needs 600 to 800 tanks to win the war, which is why it is urgent to rapidly start production of the new military hardware, he said.
"Even if Germany gave up all 300 Leopard 2 tanks that the Bundeswehr had at its disposal, it would still be too few," he said.
On Jan. 25, after much hesitation, Germany approved the transfer of 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and permitted their re-export from partner countries. On Feb. 24, the German government announced that it would transfer four more Leopard tanks, to bring the total to 18.
On Feb. 24, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Warsaw had already delivered the first four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine would receive 120-140 modern Western tanks in the first wave of deliveries.
Previously, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces needed 300-500 tanks for the offensive.
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