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Germany Simultaneously Expands Ammunition Production In Two Eastern NATO Countries

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Ukraine's artillery unit at work / Illustrative photo from open sources
Ukraine's artillery unit at work / Illustrative photo from open sources

Once the German machine gains speed it will difficult to slow it down

Quite a lot has been written about the problems with the production of artillery ammunition, so it is extremely positive that this problem is being actively solved. Especially when German industry is engaged in this.

In particular, in his statement on January 4, 2022, the Minister of Economy of Romania, Florin Spătaru, confirmed that Germany plans to build a plant for the production of gunpowder on Romanian territory. Also, to invest in the reconstruction of one of the munitions factories, which will essentially start "from scratch" to manufacture 152-mm and 155-mm projectiles.

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Although it is not specified which German company will implement this project, there was information before that it would be Rheinmetall. How much money is planned to be spent on this project is also not disclosed yet. But it is noted that Romania has allocated 10 million euros in the 2023 budget for "the plant reconstruction to produce projectiles", says Defense Romania, so possibly the project will be joint.

Germany Simultaneously Expands Ammunition Production In Two Eastern NATO Countries, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Soviet 152-mm shells / Illustrative photo

At the same time, the Romanian government officially declares that these projects are not aimed at supporting Ukraine, and will work only for the needs of the Romanian army and the armies of the Alliance countries. But on the other hand, as the authors of Defense Romania say, the creation of additional capacity for the production of projectiles in the interests of NATO still makes it easier for the West to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine with additional 152-mm and 155-mm ammunition.

Germany Simultaneously Expands Ammunition Production In Two Eastern NATO Countries, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ukraine's unit apply CAESAR SPG againt invaiders, late 2022 / Illustrative photo from open sources

Defense Romania also indicates that several specialized enterprises are currently operating in Romania: the Fegeras Gunpowder Plant, the Carfil Plant in Brasov, the Uzina Mecanică Plopeni Factory (incendiary ammunition), Uzina Mecanică Mija (grenades for the military and police), and most importantly the Tohan plant, which manufactures 122-mm rounds for barrel artillery and Soviet-made MLRS.

Germany Simultaneously Expands Ammunition Production In Two Eastern NATO Countries, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Romanian Model 89 SPG, a copy of the Soviet Gvozdika self-propelled gun / Illustrative photo from open sources

But the plans of the German industry regarding the expansion of ammunition do not end there. As Rheinmetall officially announced, it won the contract to build a plant for the production of explosives in Hungary in the city of Varpalota. The plant is to produce explosives for artillery, tank and mortar ammunition.

The future enterprise will be joint with the Hungarian state company N7 Holdin. It is also emphasized that Rheinmetall itself will be the main buyer of the new enterprise's products. The contract value is outlined in the phrase "a figure in the low three-digit range in millions of euros". The only aspect that must be taken into account is that the construction of the enterprise should take three years and it I about to release the first products in 2027.

Germany Simultaneously Expands Ammunition Production In Two Eastern NATO Countries, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ukraine's artillerymen training / Illustrative photo from open sources

And it seems that Rheinmetall fully sees not just a situational, but a permanent trend in the demand for ammunition. Especially remembering the fact that in 2022 the Bundeswehr purchased only 1 billion euros of ammunition while the regulatory need is about 20 billion euros.

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