Germany’s Rheinmetall stands ready to fill Ukraine’s ammunition needs, pending additional EU spending
German concern Rheinmetall (Photo:REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
Rheinmetall, Germany’s largest arms manufacturer, is ready to produce enough artillery ammunition to fill Ukraine’s needs – if European governments increase spending to double production capacity, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said in a recent interview, as reported by Bloomberg on March 14.
“I need orders; without orders, I won’t produce anything,” Bloomberg quotes Papperger.
“Any shortage of ammunition won’t be the defense industry’s fault. Industry can deliver what’s needed.”
He lamented the fact that Rheinmetall is producing artillery shells using only two-thirds of its capacity, despite repeated warnings from Ukrainian and European officials that ammunition supply will be the decisive factor in the war.
Earlier on March 14, the Council of the European Union announced a decision to funnel additional EUR 2 billion ($2,1 billion) into EU’s Peace Fund, which will be used by EU member states to jointly procure ammunition for Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
On March 13, Bloomberg reported that next week the EU would approve joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine. According to Estonia, on average, Ukraine uses 60,000 to 210,000 shells per month, while the European defense industry can only produce 25,000 shells per month. At the same time, Russia’s forces fire 20,000-60,000 artillery rounds per day.
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