Rheinmetall starts construction of a new €300 million plant: target is 200,000 shells per year

German defense concern Rheinmetall on Monday, February 12, began building a new Werk Niedersachsen ammunition plant in the village of Unterlüs near Hanover and Hamburg. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger, the group’s press service reported.

Werk Niedersachsen will be able to produce large-caliber ammunition and explosives. With a design capacity of about 200,000 artillery shells per year (less in the first two years) and up to 1,900 tons of hexane, the plant will create 500 new jobs.

The cost of the projectile plant is about 300 million euros. Rheinmetall will cover the costs at its own expense, without government money.

Rheinmetall predicts that the plant will be able to meet the Bundeswehr’s needs for artillery shells and will allow Germany to provide assistance to partner countries in case of crises.

The construction will last 12 months.

By 2025, Rheinmetall plans to produce 700,000 shells and 10,000 tons of powder per year at its plants in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Hungary.

  • In December 2022, it became known that Rheinmetall was building a new medium-caliber shell production plant in Germany to avoid dependence on Switzerland’s neutrality.
  • In January 2024, Rheinmetall announced that it would build a new plant to produce large-caliber ammunition, including for Ukraine.
  • Rheinmetall also plans to launch its plant in Ukraine in 2024, and six months after the launch to produce the first Fuchs armored personnel carrier.
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