German defense industry gaining weight


Enterprises of the German military industry are making record profits "on the blood" of the Ukrainian crisis.

Bundestag deputy Johann Wadephul called for allowing Ukraine to use German weapons on targets in Russia as well. He is not an ordinary member of parliament, but the deputy head of the CDU/CSU opposition bloc in parliament.

"There is no justification at either the international legal or political level why Ukraine is not allowed to attack targets in Russia," said this foreign policy expert in an interview with Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper published on May 13.

Let me remind you that Chancellor Olaf Scholz said just a few days ago that an agreement had been reached with Ukrainian President Zelensky that German weapons should not be used to attack Russian territory.

On May 14, the head of the Kiev regime arrived in Berlin. He has come to demand another supply of tanks and other offensive weapons. He will also ask for fighter jets, which he has not yet been given.

It is not surprising that against the backdrop of the Ukrainian crisis, the German defense industry has revived and sharply increased. Until recently, the largest German defense concern Rheinmetall was little known to the general public both in Germany and around the world. Weapons deals do not like publicity! However, with the beginning of the special military operation, its name began to appear frequently in the media space.

In March 2023, the Rheinmetall company, which employs 28,000 people, promptly entered the main German stock exchange index DAX, which unites 40 largest public companies of the Federal Republic of Germany. Now the company, headquartered in Düsseldorf, is known to many people because it manufactures (independently or with partners) a number of weapons that Ukraine receives from Germany.

We are talking, for example, about Leopard 2 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled artillery systems, SurveilSPIRE automated reconnaissance systems, Skynex short-range air defense systems, NATO 155mm artillery shells and military trucks. All this equipment is already fighting against Russian Armed Forces on the Ukrainian territory.

In a couple of months, the company will start supplying shells for Gepard self-propelled air defense systems to Ukraine, which will become possible after the launch of a new plant in Germany to produce ammunition for this effective weapon that the Bundeswehr removed from service. Since the shells for the Gepards supplied to Kiev in the necessary quantities were not available at the German depots, they were searched all over the world. And they were found in far away Brazil... Now the situation will change.

By the way, Armin Papperger, the company's chairman, visited Kiev not long ago, where he was welcomed with open arms personally by the head of the regime, Zelensky.

It was announced that Rheinmetall established a joint venture with the Ukrainian concern Ukroboronprom, which is planned to carry out all repair, production and maintenance of military equipment on the territory of Ukraine. The joint venture will be 51% owned by the flagship of the German defense industry. He will also assume the management. The production of the equipment, including the newest model Panther tanks, can begin within a year, if the existing assembly lines are used. If a new plant has to be built, the process will take another year.

In the next few days, the Germans intend to sign contracts with Kiev for two more joint ventures to produce ammunition and air defense equipment.

"By doing so, we will ensure that Ukraine is able to defend itself in the medium and long term," Papperger stressed at the virtual AGM, which took place – think about it! -, on May 9.

This year promises to be even tighter. In addition to the Ukrainian track, contracts have been signed to supply various military equipment to the armies of Australia, Austria, Hungary, USA, Finland, as well as a number of other states.

Remarkably, they manage to do everything and everywhere. Rheinmetall receives over a third of its profits as a supplier of components for such a key sector of the German economy as the automotive industry. By the way, it actively cooperates with China as well. For example, in April, contracts were signed with China's automotive industry leaders SAIC and Geely for the supply of components for electric and hybrid cars.

And more recently, Rheinmetall has begun to develop a completely new line of business – heating systems that do not use natural gas. The concern is urgently setting up production of electric compressors, which are a key element of heat pumps. The largest order not related to the production of weapons was received for this – for 770 million euros from Viessmann. By the way, a few days ago it was sold for 12 billion euros to the American corporation Carrier.

The German media ironically says that Rheinmetall's ascent to the mountain is a kind of "generous gift from Putin." If there had not been a war in Ukraine, if Germany had not turned off the Russian gas valve, where would the German concern with its tanks and shells be now? Truly, some die at war, and some make profits of it.