Not only to repair, but also to produce tanks and ammunition in Ukraine, to make the attacked country independent. Germany makes the leap in quality and establishes strategic relationships with the military industry of Kiev, in order to transfer war technology and strengthen security. A mega contract has been signed between the arms giant Rheinmetall and the Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom, of which the German giant will own 51%. The main field of the joint-venture will be the maintenance and repair of tanks, to shortly arrive at the production of the most modern tanks, means necessary today to defeat the Russians. But agreements are also being made to make Kiev independent in the production of shells and in the development of air defense.
Ukraine Russia, today’s war news May 17th
The cooperation includes the maintenance and repair of armored vehicles in Ukraine, in parallel the construction of tanks is being prepared. “Ukraine benefits from comprehensive technology transfer and short-term supply of military equipment from Germany,” Papperger said.
Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger was in Ukraine to discuss the foundations of the partnership with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Kiev is currently dependent on support from Western countries to carry out the spring counter-offensive against Kremlin forces. The production of military vehicles should start as soon as possible, says the German newspaper Handelsblatt. In this regard, the partners are considering whether to build a new plant or use an existing site.
Rheinmetall will therefore become a key supplier for Ukraine, which also represents an economic development potential for the Düsseldorf-based company. In 2022, the German company experienced a record year, with a turnover of 6.41 billion euros. At the same time, he will have to make huge investments. Ukraine traditionally has a good armored vehicle industry, so upgrading the existing one shouldn’t be difficult.
What vehicles will be built?
About which tanks will be embled in Ukraine, there is secrecy. It could be the Leopard 2, but also the Transportpanzer Fuchs, a vehicle for transporting troops and wounded. “We could make 400 tanks a year,” Papperger says. And then, we are talking about the Lynx KF41 infantry vehicles and the Panther KF51 fighting tank, far superior to Russian-made weapon systems.
Germany and other NATO countries had downgraded main battle tanks to obsolete models, Berlin is also reportedly developing a new generation of tanks together with France. With Russia’s attack on Ukraine, this view has radically changed. The battles are dominated by artillery and tanks, the Luftwaffe, the air force, is used only marginally.