Rheinmetall and an unnamed French company will increase its ammunition production to supply the German Ministry of Defence for more than $400 million worth of 155mm artillery shells for Ukraine.
The Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall has recently secured a major contract worth over €140 million to supply Ukraine with a significant volume of artillery ammunition. This deal underscores Rheinmetall’s crucial role in supporting Ukraine amidst ongoing global efforts to bolster its defence capabilities against Russian aggression.
Earlier in December, the German Defence Ministry had already announced, that it is buying 68,000 shells for Ukraine from a unnamed French company for €278 million.
Rheinmetall’s Expanding Role in Ukraine’s defence
Rheinmetall’s agreement includes the delivery of tens of thousands of 155-millimeter artillery shells, along with associated fuses and propellants, scheduled for 2024. This forms part of a broader framework agreement running until 2029, with a potential order volume of around €1.2 billion. In mid-October 2023, the German government further contracted Rheinmetall for over 100,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition, as well as additional DM 121 high explosive shells, marking a significant escalation in support.
Germany’s Pivotal Role in Supporting Ukraine
Germany’s commitment to Ukraine’s defence has been substantial, with the government agreeing to send an additional €12 billion in military support. This includes a blend of direct funding and credit lines extending into the next decade, emphasizing long-term support for Ukraine. German lawmakers’ approval of this support highlights the nation’s dedication to aiding Ukraine “as long as necessary.”
Not Just Ammunition
Rheinmetall’s support extends beyond ammunition, as the company is also a significant provider of combat vehicles to Ukraine. This includes the delivery of Marder infantry fighting vehicles, with 80 such vehicles ordered for Ukraine, and the potential supply of Leopard 1 and 2 tanks, financed by the Dutch and Danish governments. Furthermore, Ukraine is set to receive two advanced Skynex air defence systems, mounted on Rheinmetall HX 8×8 military trucks, in the second half of 2023.
In addition to weaponry, Rheinmetall has supplied a turnkey field hospital, providing critical medical support to the Ukrainian military. This facility, compliant with NATO standards, is equipped with 32 patient beds, including eight intensive care units.
Re-establishing Ukrainian Defence Industry
In a strategic move, Rheinmetall announced a cooperation agreement with Ukraine’s state-owned defence company, Ukroboronprom, in May 2023. This partnership aims to assist Ukraine in re-establishing its defence industry to meet Western standards, starting with the repair and maintenance of combat vehicles and potentially leading to the production of armored vehicles like the Fuchs/Fox, Lynx, and Panther main battle tank in Ukraine. This agreement is pivotal in rebuilding Ukraine’s once robust defence sector and ensuring its strategic autonomy.