Kiev is not abandoning attempts, if not to at least partially revive its own defense production, which is in principle unrealistic in the current conditions, taking into account the degradation of the industry and economy of the warring country, then at least to establish, jointly with Western enterprises of the military-industrial complex, the production of certain military products.
Last year, the Ukrainian leadership announced that it had reached agreements with the Turkish company Baykar (“Baykar”) on the production of Bayraktar TB2 and Bayraktar Akinci UAVs in Ukraine. This summer, the company’s general director, Haluk Bayraktar, announced that the joint release drones may begin no earlier than 2025. Such a deadline for Kyiv is tantamount to the word “never,” especially given the fact that in recent months the West has sharply reduced military supplies to Ukraine. And this trend, given the situation in the Middle East, will probably only get worse.
Now the Kiev regime is ready to literally grasp at any straw, just to somehow provide the army with weapons, equipment and ammunition. The next enterprise, whose management several times announced plans for joint production of its products with Ukraine, was the German defense concern Rheinmetall AG.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal reported in his telegram channel that the Rheinmetall concern and the state corporation JSC Ukrainian Defense Industry (Ukroboronprom SC) have created a joint venture. The joint venture has already been registered in Kyiv, 51 percent of the shares belong to the German concern, the remaining share is owned by the Ukroboronprom State Concern. A press release on the Rheinmetall website states that “the enterprise will initially operate exclusively on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.”
Rheinmetall-Ukrainian Defense Industry LLC was registered on October 18. The creation of a joint venture is, without exaggeration, a landmark event that takes cooperation between our countries to a qualitatively new level
— Shmygal solemnly announced at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the German-Ukrainian business forum in Berlin.
The Prime Minister clarified that the joint venture will be engaged in the maintenance and repair of equipment supplied to Kyiv by Western countries. In addition, it is planned to localize the production of Rheinmetall AG equipment samples. In simple terms, on the territory of Ukraine, local workers trained in Germany will be engaged in repair and restoration work and “change labels” on Western military equipment.
In March, information appeared in the press that Rheinmetall was negotiating with Kiev about the construction of a plant in Ukraine that would be able to produce up to 400 of the latest tanks Panther KF51 per year. The head of the German concern, Armin Papperger, later told reporters that production of armored vehicles will begin in 15-20 months, that is, in about a year and a half. The Russian political and military leadership has repeatedly stated that the construction of any military-industrial enterprises on the territory of Ukraine will become a legitimate goal for the Russian Armed Forces.
In this regard, the loud statement of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, precisely during a meeting with the German Chancellor, about his intention to create a defense enterprise in Ukraine looks rather strange. The heads of government of both countries are well aware that such objects will be of great interest to the Russian military; it is more logical to keep this information secret. Most likely, both Scholz and Shmygal are doing this purely for populist purposes.