Rheinmetall wants joint enterprise with Ukraine to produce armored vehicles

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German automotive and defense manufacturer Rheinmetall wants to work jointly with Ukrainian state defense contractor Ukroboronprom to manufacture Fuchs armored personnel carriers, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger told German publication Bild.

Papperger said that the German conglomerate would like to start out servicing and repairing ambulances, then move on to making armored vehicles.

He added that Ukraine is interested in obtaining the Panther KF51, Germany's most advanced main battle tank that's still under development, as well as the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.

However, the first step should be to cover Ukraine's most pressing defense needs.

Papperger said he is not worried about missile strikes on industrial enterprises in Ukraine, saying the country has effective means of defense against sensitive targets, thanks to Western support.

Recently, the CEO told German publication Handelsblatt that Rheinmetall formed a joint venture with Ukroboronprom that will produce and repair tanks.

Rheinmetall owns 51% of the enterprise.