One of the largest European manufacturers of ammunition comes from Düsseldorf. The arms company's business is doing well in the Ukraine war.
Düsseldorf – The German government is supplying tanks, drones and ammunition to Ukraine to support it in Russia's war of aggression. Germany's largest armaments company, Rheinmetall, has also already received a number of orders in the Ukraine war. The Düsseldorf-based company's business is currently running at full capacity.
Rheinmetall: Group sales targeted to double within four years
Because with the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the already high demand for weapons rose sharply. This was also reflected in Rheinmetall's figures: In recent years, for example, the company has produced around 2,60 of the projectiles for the Leopard 000 main battle tank per year. At 240,000, the production capacity for these projectiles is now four times as high.
By 2025, the armaments company is aiming for a turnover of ten to eleven billion euros. That would almost double within four years: in 2021, sales were still around 5.7 billion euros. In March of this year, the armaments company, founded in 1889, was included in the DAX.
Unterlüß in Lower Saxony is Rheinmetall's largest plant. Tanks, ammunition and artillery are produced there. © IMAGO/Sepp Spiegl
Rheinmetall: Expansion of production in Germany – and in Ukraine
And the company continues to expand its capacities. A new powder factory, for example, is to be built in Saxony. In Unterlüß, a small town in Lower Saxony, Rheinmetall had a new plant for Gepard ammunition built. So far, Rheinmetall has produced the ammunition for the Gepard tanks exclusively in Switzerland.
However, Swiss law prohibits the supply of weapons to countries involved in hostilities. Just a week ago, the parliament in Bern rejected a proposal for the transfer of Swiss-made weapons by third countries. In order to circumvent this problem, more production is now to be set up in Germany.
Rheinmetall announced a partnership with Ukraine's state-owned defense company Ukroboronprom in mid-May: "We will do our best to make this cooperation usable for Ukraine's defense forces as soon as possible," Ukroboronprom General Director Yuriy Husyev was quoted as saying in a Rheinmetall press release. With Ukroboronprom, the Düsseldorf-based group is preparing for the repair of military vehicles in Ukraine. Soon, new tanks will also be produced directly on site.
Criticism of armaments giant Rheinmetall
But there is also criticism of the German armaments company. In May, for example, the "German Peace Society" called for the conversion of the group to civilian products under the motto "Rheinmetall indignant". In particular, however, they called on Rheinmetall to stop supplying weapons to crisis and war zones. (with material from AFP and dpa)