Rheinmetall to set up a repair centre for Leopard tanks in Ukraine despite Moscow's threats: what is known
The German company Rheinmetall plans to open a repair centre for Leopard tanks and other military equipment supplied by Germany in Ukraine at the end of the summer. Ukrainians are already being trained in the relevant repair work in Germany.
This was announced by Armin Papperger, CEO of the concern, in a commentary to Spiegel on 28 July. "We are currently training Ukrainians in Germany to do this work," he said, adding that Rheinmetall wants to launch the repair centre after the summer break.
The facility is to become part of a network of repair centres for German military equipment that needs to be repaired in Ukraine after breakdowns, wear and tear or shelling.
It will reduce the distances that heavy equipment must be transported for repair, although this also poses security problems, Spiegel notes.
Recently, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the Rheinmetall plant would become a "legitimate target" for the occupiers, while Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev promised a "salute from Kalibr" if the facility is built.
In May, Rheinmetall announced that it had set up a joint venture with Ukroboronprom to produce and repair tanks in Ukraine. In April, the company announced the creation of a maintenance and logistics centre in Romania, and in June 2022, it opened a similar centre in Lithuania to support NATO vehicles in the Baltic states.
Berlin has supplied Kyiv with about 20 Leopard 2A6 tanks.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- Rheinmetall responded to Zakharova's threats earlier. Armin Papperger said that they were not going to respond to them and would not stop the construction of the plant. According to him, Rheinmetall will be able to protect its plant from Russian attacks.
- Earlier, Papperger said that Rheinmetall's tank plant would start operating in October 2023 in western Ukraine. It will not only produce armoured vehicles but also train Ukrainians to maintain them.
- Rheinmetall plans to supply Ukraine with two Skynex air defence systems in the coming months. They are equipped with a gun that can destroy drones and cruise missiles very cheaply and effectively.
- The company also intends to produce 300,000 Gepard anti-aircraft missiles for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 40,000 will be delivered this year.