January 28, 2023 Russian-Ukrainian News

Armin Papperger, CEO of German defense and automotive group Rheinmetall, is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Dusseldorf. Germany On Friday, January 27 (Jana Rodenbusch/Reuters)

said the leader of one of Germany’s major arms manufacturers. The country’s growing military budget 100 billion euros (about $108 billion) is “too low” to meet the government’s goal of modernizing Germany’s military capabilities.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a funded budget day after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“A lot of people talk about the fact that the defense budget is too low. And I can confirm that,” Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said. told Reuters This week in a video interview

“Like last year, we couldn’t deliver trucks or ammunition because we didn’t have the budget. and no money,” said the CEO.

In an interview, Papperger praised the newly appointed German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius for his time at “Unprecedented” that the two used in the conversation.

“Mr. Pistorius is the 11th Minister of Defense I have seen during the Rhine Metal days. And no one ever wanted to meet with us so soon. I think that’s important. We are living in a special time. We have a war in Europe,” he said.

The German Special Defense Fund, which was set up last year, is not enough anymore To cover the requirements, Pistorius said in an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published on Friday.

He also said that sending fighter jets to Ukraine would be “Out of questions” After the country agreed to procure Leopard 2 tanks earlier this week,

Rheinmetall’s CEO said in an interview that his company could increase ammunition production to more than 100,000 rounds today, and the arms maker has a total capacity of more than 240,000 rounds.

He added that the shortage of gunpowder is growing due to the need to produce both tanks and artillery ammunition.

“This means we need additional powder capacity in Europe and ideally in Germany,” Papperger said.

The CEO said his company needed financial help from the German government. To build another ammunition factory to meet potential needs

“It’s going to be a pretty big factory,” Papperger said. Because we need to build a specialized chemical plant. This will cost an estimated between 700 and 800 million euros (approximately $761 million to $871 million),” Papperger said.

“This is an investment that cannot be borne by the industry alone. it is an investment in national security that is necessary,” he added.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday: Although there are 139 Leopards in stock, only 29 modernized Leopard 2 battle tanks can be ready for delivery in early April or May. As it is being prepared for an arms exchange, Rheinmetall will take about a year to prepare the remaining 22 Leopard 2s in stock. he added

CNN’s Inke Kappeler and Claudia Otto in Berlin contributed reporting to this post.