Rheinmetall in talks on building tank factory in Ukraine - report
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German defence contractor Rheinmetall is in negotiations about building a tank factory in Ukraine, the newspaper Rheinische Post reported on Saturday, citing an interview with CEO Armin Papperger.
Rheinmetall makes ammunition, other military equipment and also the Leopard tanks that Germany decided to send to Ukraine, which the company produces jointly with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
"A Rheinmetall plant can be set up in the Ukraine for around 200 million euros ($212.64 million), which can produce up to 400 Panthers a year," Papperger was quoted as saying. Panthers are the company's latest battle tanks models.
"Talks with the Ukrainian government are promising and I hope for a decision in the next two months," he added.
While the Western Allies were sending enough arms for Ukraine to defend itself, the Ukrainians currently do not have enough equipment to fully retake their territory, Papperger said.
He said Ukraine needed 600 to 800 tanks and the construction of new tanks must start quickly to achieve that number, he said.
Rheinmetall will join Germany's blue chip DAX index this month, Deutsche Boerse said on Friday, citing increased defence spending due to the war in Ukraine.
Its shares hit a record high in January after Germany's decision to send the heavy Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
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(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Jane Merriman)