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In the west of Ukraine, the largest German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will open an armored vehicles factory within 12 weeks

Germany’s Rheinmetall is set to open an armored vehicles plant in Ukraine within the next 12 weeks, defying fears of other Western defense companies reportedly taking a seat in the country while it is at war with Russia.

Germany’s largest arms manufacturer will also train Ukrainians to service tanks and other armored vehicles produced at the plant, which will be located in the western part of the country, CEO Armin Papperger said in an exclusive interview with CNN.

“[Ukrainians] have to help themselves – if they always have to wait [for] Europeans or Americans [who] will help them in the next 10 or 20 years… it’s impossible,” he said.

Papperger said factory workers will build and repair the Rheinmetall Fuchs armored personnel carrier, named after the German word for fox, under license at the plant.

Rheinmetall (RNMBF) will operate the plant in partnership with the Ukrainian state defense group Ukroboronprom, which will also own the facility. In May, the companies announced an agreement to increase the “powers of defense technology” of Ukraine.

At the moment, according to Papperger, getting more ammunition is a higher priority than producing more tanks.

According to him, Rheinmetall will increase the annual production of artillery shells from 100,000 to 600,000 next year, and most of this additional production will be intended for deliveries to Ukraine.

Theoretically, he added, Rheinmetall can provide 60% of the artillery ammunition needed by Ukraine.

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