Dusseldorf The head of the armaments group Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, has called for more speed in politics when awarding contracts for defense technology. “The entire German industry is ready. The resources are there, the people are there, we also have the know-how. What we need now is solidarity with politicians that we have the ability to plan,” said the group leader on Tuesday at the Handelsblatt conference “Security and Defense”.
Rheinmetall invested 700 million euros in capacity expansion last year and hired 2,000 people. But so far there are no orders.
The turning point with the special fund of over 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr was overdue. However, the announced five- and ten-year plans still do not exist. “In 2023 we really have to start the turning point now,” demanded Papperger.
He emphasized that the industry has sufficient capacity to produce. “We are able to produce more artillery ammunition than the Americans,” said the manager. “But I haven’t had a single order for it so far.” He doesn’t have two billion euros to pre-finance.
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It’s about huge numbers, not only for Ukraine, but also for the Bundeswehr. “We don’t have any ammunition with us, and it’s the same in Europe.”
Papperger criticized that if the annual defense budget was only around one billion euros for ammunition, it would take 30 years for the stock to be increased to meet needs.
In June, as a reaction to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Bundestag decided on a special fund worth 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr.
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