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Rheinmetall opens combat vehicle repair facility in Ukraine

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MILAN – Rheinmetall has set up a maintenance center in western Ukraine to repair German-donated military equipment damaged in fighting, as more and more weapons manufacturers set up shop in the embattled country.

The Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry repair facility, a joint venture project between the German company and the Ukrainian state-owned company Ukroboronprom, was inaugurated on June 10.

“Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) are already being maintained and overhauled at the hub, and in the future, Leopard 1 and 2 main battle tanks and other German-made systems will also be repaired at other locations in Ukraine,” a spokesperson said. company rack said.

Rheinmetall will rely on local labor and equipment, in addition to supplying its own resources to the hub. According to the statement, Ukrainian specialists were trained last year in maintaining armored vehicles at company sites in Germany.

By the end of 2023, the German manufacturer had sent more than 100 Marder IFVs to Ukraine, and additional deliveries in the “double-digit range” were planned for this year, according to company information.

Rheinmetall has also been engaged to supply Leopard 1 and 2 main battle tanks and armored recovery vehicles to Kiev.

Company officials have previously floated the idea of ​​setting up as many as four factories in the embattled country to produce a wider range of weapons.

There has been a stronger push recently from the Ukrainian government to localize military equipment production, as well as a growing tendency by Western defense companies to open factories in Kiev.

Earlier this month, KNDS, the French-German combat vehicle manufacturer, said it was about to open a subsidiary in Ukraine that will work with local companies to make spare parts and produce 155mm artillery shells.

Other Western land vehicle manufacturers have considered the possibility of opening a production site in Ukraine as a more sustainable form of military assistance, but few have taken the step in light of security risks.

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