Can EU meet artillery ammuntion demand from Ukraine?
The Rheinmetall concern, one of the largest manufacturers of military equipment and weapons in Europe, said that the European defense industry will not be able to meet the needs of the Ukrainian Defense Forces for artillery ammunition of caliber 155 mm for the war of liberation against Russia, unless the allied governments allocate enough money to double the capacity . Bloomberg writes about this reffering to the words of the company CEO, Armin Papperger:
I need orders. Without orders, I won’t do anything. Any shortage of ammunition is not the fault of the defense industry. Industry can provide what is needed.
Papperger laments that Rheinmetall will produce shells at about two-thirds of its capacity this year, despite repeated warnings from Ukrainian and European officials that the number of shells will be a decisive factor in the war.
Earlier, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine would need more than 350,000 shells per month for the counteroffensive (more than three times the amount currently used by the Defense Forces). He asked the EU to supply 250,000 shells per month.
Papperger says that this number “will be difficult to do”: “To reach this speed, we need to double the production in Europe.”
Rheinmetall plans and capacity
Rheinmetall can now produce 450,000 rounds a year at factories around the world and plans to increase that to 600,000 over the next two years with additional capacity at a plant in Hungary and a new powder plant in the East German state of Saxony.
The concern expects the Saxon government to approve the construction plans, which will require an investment of 700-800 million euros in the next few weeks.
This is a national security project. We cannot finance it on our own. We need state support. I think the government will make a very wise decision.
Papperger said. According to him, the company has enough capacity to make these 240,000 shells, but plans to produce fewer than 150,000 this year. Due to delays in orders, Rheinmetall also has not fully ramped up production of the smaller 120mm shells used mostly for American and European tanks, he added.
Papperger is confident that with adequate support from the defense industry of Europe and the United States, he will be able to supply the Armed Forces with enough military equipment to defeat the occupying country Russia: “If the West wants Russia to lose this war, then Russia will not win it. Europe and the United States are capable of producing more than Russia will be able to do at any time.”