The armaments group Rheinmetall has confirmed that its contingent of Marder armored personnel carriers will be delivered to Ukraine without delay. "It has been agreed to deliver at the end of March. They are already finished here," said CEO Armin Papperger on Monday in Unterlüß in Lower Saxony. The federal government had announced that it would hand over a total of 40 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. Of these, 20 are said to come from the stocks of the Bundeswehr, and 20 more will be supplied by Rheinmetall.
According to Papperger, the ammunition line for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank is to be set up in April or May. Rheinmetall announced last week that a total of 300,000 cartridges in two versions are to be produced. According to the company, the ammunition is intended to support the Ukrainian armed forces that are using the cheetah.
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said in Unterlüß: "I would like the industry to expand production capacities quickly. Material has to get to where it is needed." Procurement processes would have to be accelerated.
Pistorius had previously informed himself on Monday about the training of Ukrainian soldiers on German battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles in Lower Saxony. The SPD politician was in the armored personnel carrier school in Munster, where Ukrainians learn how to use the Leopard 2 and the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. The delivery of tanks is part of German military aid to help Ukraine defend against Russia.
"It remains the same: the goal is for the tanks, both the Leopards and the Marders, to be delivered by the end of March and then the training to be completed," said Pistorius in Munster.