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Germany unable to fully supply Ukraine with artillery shells – Rheinmetall CEO

German defense companies are unable to produce as many shells as Ukraine needs
German defense companies are unable to produce as many shells as Ukraine needs

The Ukrainian military currently needs more than 2 million artillery rounds annually, and German domestic production cannot meet the demand, Armin Papperger, CEO of German defense contractor Rheinmetall, said in a comment to Bild on Feb. 12.

Read also: Borrell: EU to deliver over one million artillery shells by year’s end

"In total, we want to produce up to 700,000 artillery shells per year," said Papperger.

It will take Germany 10 to 15 years to replenish its own stocks alone, he added.

In early May 2023, the EU adopted a program to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells by the end of 2023.

The European Defense Agency signed the first contracts for the joint purchase of artillery shells for the Ukrainian military on Sept. 5, 2023.

European Union diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said during a press conference on Nov. 13 that EU countries may not be able to supply Ukraine with one million artillery shells by the end of 2023, as previously planned.

Read also: Borrell plans ‘strategic equipment’ aid for Ukraine — Macron

According to him, the European Union has completed the first part of the supply plan. As part of this stage, Ukraine received shells that were already in the arsenals of the bloc's member states. In total, about 300,000 artillery shells were delivered.

Read also: Avdiivka may fall due to artillery shells shortage, says war veteran

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Nov. 29 that the European Union would provide Ukraine with the previously promised one million rounds of ammunition, but the timing of the delivery remained an open question.

Read also: Ukraine to produce ‘thousands’ of long-range strike drones in 2024

European Commission spokesperson Johanna Bernsel said at a briefing in Brussels on Jan. 11 that the European Union will be able to produce one million rounds by the end of winter 2024.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Feb. 1 that the EU countries had failed to meet the goal of supplying Ukraine with one million shells, even though their production had tripled.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine