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Protection of Bakhmut has been a “nice strategic success” for Ukraine, presidential advisor says

Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG, speaks throughout the firm’s annual outcomes convention in Duesseldorf, Germany, on March 17. (Marius Becker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

The German arms producer Rheinmetall, who produces the Leopard battle tank amongst different heavy arms, is hoping to open a tank manufacturing unit in Ukraine, CEO Armin Papperger has advised a German newspaper.

Papperger, as quoted by the “Rheinische Submit” every day over the weekend, mentioned negotiations to construct such a plant are ongoing and a call may come inside two months. 

A potential plant would price about 200 million euros, or about $214 million, and about 400 tanks might be constructed yearly, Papperger advised “Rheinische Submit.” 

Air protection programs might be in place to guard such a facility, he mentioned.

Papperger added {that a} new model of the totally digitized battle tank “Panther” might be in-built Ukraine.

Some background: Rheinmetall is the largest arms producer in Germany with about 25,000 workers. 

In January, the arms producer mentioned it had 139 Leopards in inventory, however of these, solely 29 Leopard 2s can be combat-ready for supply within the spring of this 12 months. These 29 have already been theoretically pledged to different nations as a part of a tank swap.

The remainder of the inventory wanted to be ready over an extended time frame, in accordance with the corporate.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson advised CNN that of the remainder of the inventory — 88 Leopard 1 tanks — just a few might be deliverable in about 9 months, and the remaining in a 12 months.

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