Feedback is still “overwhelmingly positive”.
Rheinmetall boss admits German weapons losses in Ukraine
6/10/2023 1:29 am
Russia recently celebrated the destruction of a Cheetah 2 tank in Ukraine. The loss of German weapons in Ukraine did not come as a surprise to the head of the Rheinmetall weapons group. Nevertheless, the quality of the systems has proven itself – and sometimes surprises manufacturers.
Armin Papperger, head of Germany’s largest arms conglomerate, Rheinmetall, acknowledged losses in weapons systems supplied by Germany to Ukraine. However, at the same time, he appreciated their basic quality. “There are always losses in life,” Popperker said in an interview with Editorial Network Germany (RND), but one does not talk about it. In principle, weapons systems developed and manufactured in Germany have proven themselves in Ukraine, the weapons manager emphasized.
“The opinion of Ukrainians about German weapons is very positive,” he said. Some manufacturers were surprised by their consistency. “Take the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer, whose chassis and weapon systems were supplied by Rheinmetall. We actually say the barrel needs to be changed after about 4,500 rounds. But the Ukrainians fire up to 20,000 rounds – literally impossible,” says Papperger. “Other pipes would have bent long ago.”
The Rheinmetall boss said the EU’s promise to supply Ukraine with one million rounds of artillery ammunition for defense against Russia within a year would only be fulfilled if governments cut back on their arsenals: “In the short term, Ukraine will have one million rounds. The artillery ammunition will only be available if European forces keep stocks.”
The industry is scrambling to increase production capacities, but Rheinmetall itself wants to increase its artillery ammunition capacity from the current 450,000 rounds to 600,000 rounds per year in the next few months, Papperger explained. “However, it will take six to ten years for all European ammunition depots to be filled.”
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