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Rheinmetall is planning to open a new plant in Ukraine to produce artillery ammunition, the company announced on 17 February 2024.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Ukrainian partner company to set up a joint venture that will run the plant. Rheinmetall will have a 51% stake in the new company, with the remaining 49% share held by the Ukrainian partner, which was not named “due to contractual reasons”, a Rheinmetall spokesperson told ESD.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Alexander Kamyshin, the Ukrainian Minister for Strategic Industries, during the Munich Security Conference, which was held from 16 to 18 February.

The Ukrainian Competence Center for Ammunition is to ultimately produce a six-digit number of 155 mm calibre rounds per year, including the corresponding propelling charges.

Meanwhile, on 12 February German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the ground-breaking ceremony for a new Rheinmetall plant at Unterlüß in Lower Saxony, which, along with explosives and rocket artillery components, will also produce artillery ammunition from 2025.

“Demand for ammunition in many countries is enormous – first and foremost in Ukraine, of course,” Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “Our intention of establishing another joint venture underscores our support for Ukraine. This joint venture will make a vital contribution to the country’s ability to defend itself – and thus to the security of all Europe.”

“We want to be an effective partner of Ukraine, to help rebuild the country’s once powerful defence industry and to assure Ukrainian autonomy in ammunition production,” Papperger added. “Already today we are Kyiv’s most important defence industry partner. We are currently processing several billion euros worth of projects on behalf of Ukraine, with more almost daily.”

In October 2023 Rheinmetall and Ukrainian state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Defense Industry JSC (UDI, the former Ukroboronprom) established a first joint venture in Kyiv – Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry LLC – that will initially maintain and repair and subsequently build armoured vehicles in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Competence Center for Ammunition that Rheinmetall will set up under a joint venture is intended to ultimately produce a six-digit number of 155 mm calibre rounds per year. (Photo: Rheinmetall)