German Rheinmetall in talks to build tank factory in Ukraine
German defense contractor Rheinmetall is in negotiations regarding building a tank factory in Ukraine, the newspaper Rheinische Post reported Saturday, citing an interview with CEO Armin Papperger.
Rheinmetall makes ammunition, other military equipment and also the Leopard tanks Germany decided to send to Ukraine, which the company produces jointly with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
“A Rheinmetall plant can be set up in Ukraine for around 200 million euros ($212.64 million), which can produce up to 400 Panthers a year,” Papperger was quoted as saying. Panthers are the company’s latest battle tank models.
“Talks with the Ukrainian government are promising and I hope for a decision in the next two months,” he added.
While the Western Allies were sending enough arms for Ukraine to defend itself, the Ukrainians currently do not have enough equipment to fully retake their territory, Papperger said.
He said Ukraine needed 600 to 800 tanks and the construction of new tanks must start quickly to achieve that number, he said.
According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine requires 300 tanks from Western countries to effectively counter Russian forces. Currently, Ukraine is awaiting the delivery of several types of Western main battle tanks, including the Leopard 2 from Germany, the Challenger 2 from Britain, and Abrams from the United States. Recently, the first shipment of Leopard 2 tanks was transported to Ukraine from Poland.