New Rheinmetall factory to produce 200,000 artillery shells annually
Rheinmetall has announced plans to build a new factory in Lower Saxony, Germany, in a push to meet surging demands for artillery shells, explosives, rocket engines and warheads, in a construction project costing about about €300 million (US$323 million).
The factory will eventually manufacture some 200,000 artillery shells a year, along with up to 1,900 tonnes of RDX explosive and, optionally, other components for producing ammunition charges. In addition, production of rocket engines and possibly warheads could take place at the facility, which will be necessary for the planned German rocket artillery project.
When completed, the factory will have an initial production of 50,000 shells a year followed by annual capacity reaching 100,000 shells in the second year of production, and eventually rising to double that.
The company noted: “The war in Ukraine shows how immense the need for ammunition is. The Bundeswehr’s depots are empty; replenishing its stocks will cost an estimated €40 billion. Enormous consumption of ammunition in Ukraine is exacerbating current shortages.
“By 2025, Rheinmetall aims to produce up to 700,000 rounds of artillery ammunition at its plants in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Hungary, as well as 10,000 tonnes of powder.”
In July last year, Rheinmetall received a US$4.4 billion framework agreement for 120mm ammunition which has been followed by orders for hundreds-of-thousands of shells. This was followed by a November announcement that the company would deliver approximately 100,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition in a deal described as in the “lower-three-digit million-euro range”.
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