The Rheinmetall boss was convinced that the plant could be protected against Russian air raids. "Anti-aircraft protection would not be difficult."
The Ukraine needs 600 to 800 tanks for a victory, stressed the Rheinmetall boss. In order for the crowd to come together, the construction of new tanks would have to start quickly. "Even if Germany gave up all of the 300 Leopard 2 tanks available to the Bundeswehr, that would still be far too few."
According to the current status, Rheinmetall is making around 250 tanks available in connection with the Ukraine war: "We are working at full speed," said Papperger. "We have already made more than 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles operational, by the end of the year there will be around 100. Around 30 of the 50 Leopard 2A4 tanks are ready. There are also around 100 older Leopard 1 designs, of which we can make 88 usable again from today's perspective ."
Papperger expects the war to last "probably for years to come." "While the western allies are sending enough weapons there for Ukraine to defend itself, the Ukrainians don't have enough equipment today to fully retake their territory." At the same time, Russia does not have as many resources as the West as a whole, said the Rheinmetall boss. But he couldn't see "that the leadership around Putin is making cutbacks in its aggressive course towards Ukraine."