Rheinmetall is opening an armored vehicle plant in Ukraine within the next three months, CEO Armin Papperger said.
The plant will be located in the country’s west, capable of producing 400 tanks annually.
“[Ukrainians] have to help themselves — if they always have to wait [for] Europeans or Americans [to] help them over the next 10 or 20 years… that is not possible,” Papperger told CNN.
Over $200 Million Plant
Rheinmetall will operate the 200 million euro ($213 million) plant in partnership with the Ukrainian state-owned defense firm Ukroboronprom.
The German defense firm will also train Ukrainian workers to maintain tanks and other armored vehicles built in the factory, such as the Fuchs armored personnel carrier.
Dismissing Russian Threat to Factory
The decision comes as former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened last month to strike the prospective tank factory.
Dismissing the threat, Papperger said that the company would be protected from Russian strikes.
He had earlier suggested that an air defense system could protect the factory from potential Russian strikes.
“There are a lot of factories at the moment which are producing military goods [in Ukraine]. It is just another one — and we can protect that also,” CNN quoted him as saying.