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Ukraine conflict: Rheinmetall and Ukrainian Defense Industry form joint venture

Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry could produce armoured vehicles like the Fuchs (pictured), starting with the assembly of kits. (Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall and Ukrainian Defense Industry (UDI) joint-stock company (formerly Ukroboronprom) have established a joint venture in Kyiv, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told the German-Ukrainian Business Forum held in Berlin on 24 October. Rheinmetall said in a press release the same day that Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry is jointly owned by Rheinmetall Landsysteme with a 51% stake and UDI with the remaining 49%, and that the joint venture has been operating since 18 October, although the two companies began strategic co-operation in May.

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany's Federal Cartel Office, approved the joint venture on 28 September, followed by the necessary agency approval in Poland and Ukraine.

Initially operating in Ukraine, the joint venture will repair, conduct maintenance, assemble, produce, and develop military vehicles. It will be based in Kyiv and initially operate only in Ukraine.

Rheinmetall said the co-operation between it and UDI aims to strengthen Ukraine's defence sector and ultimately the country's national security by gradually building joint capabilities in defence technology in Ukraine. The German company added that Ukraine would benefit from this co-operation, including the creation and expansion of the country's domestic defence technology capacities, additional local added value, and prompt deliveries of military equipment from Germany.

As a first step, the co-operation will focus on the maintenance and repair of vehicles transferred to Ukraine from Germany or from countries that have been backfilled with German equipment. In later phases, technology transfer will be used to jointly produce selected Rheinmetall products in Ukraine.

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