RHM starts line for 43000 155mm shells for Ukraine, delivery in 2025

Rheinmetall [RHM], a German defense company, has disclosed its receipt of a substantial artillery ammunition production order for Ukraine. The order, worth 142 million euros, requires the manufacture of tens of thousands of 155mm artillery ammunition. 

Greece may part with 75,000 of its stored shells to feed Ukraine
Photo credit: CNN

We reported in October that the cost of each 155mm artillery ammunition was 3300 euros, according to the rates of the Spanish Expal plant. This estimate equates to a total output of nearly 43,000 ammunition rounds. 

Rheinmetall Expal Munitions, a Spanish munitions facility purchased by the German firm for €1.2 billion, will take on the manufacturing task. The first delivery is anticipated as early as 2025. Unfortunately, Rheinmetall has chosen to remain tight-lipped regarding further specifics about the contract. 

October agreement

The company has, however, offered additional insights into its operations. Rheinmetall has confirmed the production and subsequent delivery of 40,000 155-mm artillery shells to Ukraine from a previous order by next year. This is possibly the follow-up to an October contract for 100,000 155-mm shells. 

Moreover, Germany’s defense minister has previously announced intentions to provide Ukraine with 140,000 155-mm projectiles as part of defense assistance in the coming year. 

Insights from a list of defense aid provided by Germany to Ukraine since February 2022 reveal that the Ukrainian defense forces have already received 25,750 explosive devices and an additional 20,872 illumination and smoke 155 mm projectiles. There’s also an undisclosed quantity of precision munitions SMArt and VULCANO. 

Demand is growing

Rheinmetall points out that artillery ammunition demand is soaring, driven not only by the ongoing war in Ukraine but also by NATO and EU member nations’ efforts to restock their reserves. Consequently, the company aims to boost its production capacity and achieve an annual output of 700,000 shells across its plants in Germany, Spain, South Africa, and Australia. 

Regarding the Bundeswehr’s reconstruction, Rheinmetall is already in possession of several long-term, €1 billion agreements. As a result of the skyrocketing prices of weapons, exact quantities are hard to estimate. But using the price from the company’s October contract [€3,300 per round], the ammunition count could be around 303,000 units.

Soaring costs

Long past are the times when a standard 155 mm projectile would merely cost you anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500. In recent times, we have seen an exponential surge in prices. 

Since the inception of the conflict in Ukraine, ammunition prices have been on a steep incline. While Rheinmetall remains tight-lipped about the model of ammunition they’re manufacturing, if it happens to be the ERO2A1 from Expal, brace yourself for a price tag of around 4,000 euros a piece.

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