German arms company Rheinmetall expands ammunition production
Rheinmetal wants to expand local ammunition production after Switzerland objected to ammunition deliveries to Ukraine
German arms company Rheinmetall is expanding its ammunition production in Germany.
The facilities for so-called medium-caliber ammunition should be ready in January, the defense company confirmed to the dpa news agency.
One of the triggers is a veto by Switzerland regarding ammunition deliveries to Ukraine. The export of old stocks of the weapons material needed for the Gepard anti-aircraft gun tanks would have required the approval of the Swiss government.
However, Switzerland invoked its neutrality and rejected the delivery.
Rheinmetall pointed to considerable pent-up demand for ammunition in Germany and gaps created by its support for Ukraine.
Production of the ammunition is scheduled to start in June 2023. In addition, Rheinmetall would then be in a position to deliver the first batch of Gepard ammunition as early as July, a company spokesman said.
According to reports, this will involve up to 300,000 rounds for Ukraine if the German government places a corresponding order.
"I am very relieved that the industry has reacted so quickly. In the future, more ammunition that we urgently need will be produced in Germany," Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the chairwoman of the German parliament's defense committee, told dpa.
Because of the security situation, she said, it was "of immense importance" that Germany, together with its NATO partners, become more independent in the production of ammunition.