GRAZ, Austria — German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will produce around 100,000 rounds of mortar ammunition for Ukraine as part of the German government’s military support for the eastern European nation, the company said on Wednesday.
German defense officials announced a bundle of military aid in September, totaling €400 million, or $430 million. In a press release, the government said the deliveries would include “105,000 rounds of 120-millimeter caliber explosive, smoke and flare mortar ammunition.”
To that end, a “low three-digit million euro” amount will go toward the 120-millimeter mortar ammunition produced by Rheinmetall, according to the company’s Nov. 8 statement. Delivery was set to commence “shortly” and continue over the next two years.
In August, the Düsseldorf-based arms giant completed its acquisition of the Spanish munitions manufacturer Expal following regulatory approval after first announcing the move in November 2022. The purchase price was announced as being €1.2 billion, according to a Rheinmetall statement. The company said the acquisition would help expand production capacity to meet a “strong global demand for ammunitions [which is] set to continue to grow.”
The defense ministry had spent a total of €4.2 billion on aid to Ukraine by the end of August, a list compiled by the German government shows. The same document claims the overall German support to Kyiv since the large-scale Russian invasion started in February of 2022 amounted to €24 billion by Sept. 15 of this year.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, the September military aid package would also include 200 mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) combat vehicles for mine-clearing operations, 50 unmanned surface vehicles – seafaring drones – and personal equipment to boost the Ukrainian army’s readiness for winter combat, the German government said.
Since then, Berlin announced another round of support for Kyiv in October, which includes air defense systems and further munitions.
The deliveries would consist of a mix of materiel from existing Bundeswehr stocks and some freshly produced by Germany’s arms industry, according to officials.
Rheinmetall’s defense business has seen substantial growth amid Europe’s military aid pledges for Ukraine. The company on Thursday reported that new orders were up by 42% in the third quarter, leaving a backlog of work worth €36.5 billion.
CEO Armin Papperger described the company’s expansion of manufacturing capabilities as key contributors to the company’s position in the ammunitions market.
“The integration of our latest acquisition, the Spanish munitions manufacturer Expal Systems, has got off to a successful start,” he said. “Furthermore, we have massively increased our additional capacities. As one of the world’s leading ammunition producers, we can make a considerable contribution in this set-up to ensuring Ukraine’s ability to defend itself in this area and to replenishing the supplies of NATO partners.”
Rheinmetall this summer was ranked 19th in the annual Defense News Top 100 list of the world’s largest defense contractors, up from 29th the previous year.
Source : DefenseNews