German Arms Manufacturer Wants to Build Tank Factory in Ukraine
The German armaments group Rheinmetall wants to build a tank factory on Ukrainian soil. The plant could be built for around 200 million euros, said company boss Armin Pappenberger.
Up to 400 “Panther” type battle tanks could be produced yearly, and the plant could be protected against Russian attacks with an air defence system. “Anti-aircraft protection would not be difficult.” The “Panther” was presented in 2022 and is one of the most modern weapon systems in the world. According to several media reports, no army has used it so far, and Ukraine would be the first customer.
The Rheinmetall boss stressed that Ukraine needs 600 to 800 tanks for a victory. In order for the crowd to come together, the construction of new tanks would have to start quickly. “Even if Germany gave up all 300 Leopard 2 tanks available to the Bundeswehr, that would still be far too few.”
According to Rheinmetall, it has so far provided around 250 tanks in connection with the Ukraine war: “We’re working at full speed,” said Papperger. “We have already operationalised more than 40 ‘Marder’ infantry fighting vehicles. By the end of the year, there will be around 100. Of the 50 ‘Leopard 2 A4’, around 30 tanks are ready. In addition, there are around 100 ‘Leopard 1’ older designs, from which we, from today’s point of view, 88 can be made usable again.”
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Telegram to attack such a tank factory. “The event will be marked with a proper salute from ‘Kalibr’ and other pyrotechnics,” he wrote. “Kalibr” are cruise missiles that are primarily fired from ships. The Russian Black Sea Fleet had used them intensively to shell Ukrainian power plants in recent months.
Papperger expects the war in Ukraine to “probably last for years.” “While the western allies are sending enough weapons there for Ukraine to defend itself, the Ukrainians don’t have enough equipment today to fully retake their territory.” At the same time, Russia does not have as many resources as the West as a whole, said the Rheinmetall boss. But he couldn’t see “that the leadership around Putin is making cutbacks in its aggressive course towards Ukraine.”