German company Rheinmetall AG has initiated the construction of a new plant in Lower Saxony for manufacturing of artillery shells, explosives, and rocket artillery components, as announced in their press release on Feb. 12.
“It will produce about 200,000 artillery shells a year and up to 1.9 thousand tons of explosive hexogen and, if possible, other components for ammunition,” the company stated.
Additionally, Rheinmetall AG plans to develop rocket engines and warheads for a German rocket artillery initiative.
The company intends to invest around €300 million ($323 million) in the project, prioritizing the swift establishment of the plant. Construction is estimated to take 12 months, with an initial production capacity of 50 thousand shells per year. Rheinmetall anticipates reaching an annual output of 200 thousand shells within two years.
Rheinmetall AG emphasizes that the plant’s construction aims to reduce Germany’s reliance on external shell production, enabling independent manufacturing of all components domestically.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Danish PM Mette Frederiksen.
Earlier, Rheinmetall AG CEO Armin Papperger told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the concern is trying to double or triple the production of gunpowder used for artillery shells.
“In general, we want to produce 700,000 artillery shells a year in 2025,” he said.
Handelsblatt explained that to fulfill this task, the concern will not only build a plant in Lower Saxony, but also expand its facilities in Spain and Hungary.
It was also noted that Rheinmetall plans to launch a plant in Ukraine in 2024, with weapon samples expected six months after production begins.
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