"Titan of the arms industry in Europe and probably in the world" is how Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls Düsseldorf-based arms and technology group Rheinmetall. Over the weekend, the German war-monopolist announced an agreement to set up a joint venture with Ukrainian state-owned Ukroboronprom. This is initially to repair those tanks and military vehicles that the NATO states have supplied via the German government's so-called ring swap projects or directly. The construction of tanks is to follow, as well as ammunition and air defense projects. The company is to be operational from mid-July 2023.

Within a year, existing plants are likely to be taken over and converted, so that the first combat vehicles could be delivered, initially probably technically simpler equipment such as the „Fuchs“, a wheel-driven transport tank on which air defense systems such as Milan or Wildcat can be installed. However, newbuilds are also under discussion. According to Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger, 200 million will be invested in order to produce around 400 tanks a year. However, this is expected to take considerably more time.


"But if the Fritzes decide to actually build there, then we'll be waiting eagerly," is the comment from Russia. In fact, it is questionable to what extent such a project could be protected from possible Russian attacks.


At the same time, the German defense company has booked a major order for 50 Puma tanks. The order is worth a total of more than 1.1 billion euros. Approximately 500 million will go to Rheinmetall’s subsidiary Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH (RLS). Another 600 million will go to Munich-based Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Together with the latter, Rheinmetall is building the modern German infantry fighting vehicles, one of the most powerful and heaviest infantry fighting vehicles in the world, in the conglomerate "Projekt System & Management GmbH". The contract is also said to include spare parts packages, special tool kits and eight training simulators for the Mells missile system (Multirole Light Missile System; developed in Israel under the name "Spike") installed on the tank.


Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodimir Selensky also arrived in Germany at the weekend on his European tour. In Berlin, he first met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. It was then announced that Germany will provide further military aid to Ukraine in the amount of 2.7 billion euros, which is double the amount previously pledged. In total, the payments amount to 17 billion euros. The FRG is increasingly morphing into a key "partner" of Ukraine, i.e. one of the biggest war profiteers in Eastern Europe, just behind the USA. The awarding of the Charlemagne Prize, which is supposed to honor personalities or institutions that have rendered outstanding services to "European unification," to Selenski is a sign that German imperialism has regained its footing.