Rheinmetall in Talks With Lockheed to Produce HIMARS in Germany
Rheinmetall is in discussions with Lockheed Martin to begin producing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in Germany, CEO Armin Papperger revealed this week.
Papperger said an agreement could be reached at the Munich Security Conference, scheduled for mid-February.
“We have the technology for the production of the warheads as well as for the rocket motors – and we have the trucks to mount the launchers upon,” Reuters quoted Papperger as saying.
The Lockheed Martin system has been in high demand by European nations since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Countries such as Estonia, Latvia, and Poland have ordered the rocket artillery, which has had a considerable impact for Ukraine in the war.
The US Army has also requested information from potential vendors to supply up to 500 HIMARS systems in five years.
Lockheed CEO Jim Taiclet said in October that the company planned to raise its annual production of the platform from 60 to 96 due to heightened demand.
Ramping Up Ammunition Production
Meanwhile, Papperger said that Rheinmetall could increase its annual tank and artillery shell production to 240,000 tank rounds (120mm) and 450,000 to 500,000 artillery rounds (155mm).
The German arms producer manufactured 60,000 to 70,000 rounds each of tank and artillery shells in 2022.
Papperger added that a new production line for medium caliber ammunition used in the Gepard anti-aircraft system will open by mid-year.