Head of the concern Armin Papperger said this to Bild, Ukrinform reports.
"We will not abandon our assistance to the country... [Ukraine has] effective options to defend against attacks on sensitive targets," Papperger said.
In addition, Rheinmetall, according to its CEO, cooperates with a partner company, Ukroboronprom, which already has a large number of locations for production. It is with this state-owned company that the Germans are establishing a joint venture in which they will hold a majority of shares.
It is planned to produce ammunition, armored vehicles, and Panther battle tanks in Ukraine. The plant can eventually produce up to 400 main battle tanks per year.
In addition, the company will repair Fuchs armored vehicles.
The investment is estimated at about 200 million euros.
Threats from the Kremlin have been made before. Putin's confidant Dmitry Medvedev said: "If krauts decide to really build there, we will be looking forward to it." Even then, the Kremlin's threat did not impress Papperger. He said that he would defend the plant with self-made air defense systems.
On Thursday, the Kremlin threatened to bomb a future tank plant in Ukraine after its construction is completed. According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, "Rheinmetall armored vehicle plant will become a legitimate target in Ukraine if it is built."
Papperger has been with Rheinmetall since 1990 and has been the group's CEO since 2013. In 2022, the concern employed more than 25,000 people and had sales of 6.4 billion euros.
Photo: picture alliance/dpa