23/02/2023 | Story

German Secretary of Defence Pistorius visits Rheinmetall's Unterlüß site

Visit in the spirit of the “Zeitenwende” turning point

On Monday, 20 February 2023, Boris Pistorius, the German minister of defence, visited Rheinmetall’s Unterlüß location. Armin Papperger, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall AG, and Dagmar Steinert, the company's Chief Financial Officer, accompanied the high-ranking guest. It was the first visit by a German defence minister to a defence contractor in a long time and the first in a series of planned visits to other defence industry companies.

The visit was very much dominated by the “Zeitenwende”, the historical turning point triggered by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The new security situation has made it clear to everyone just how fragile peace and stability in Europe really are. The German defence minister has pledged to embark on a new course in the realm of security policy. He has therefore initiated a close dialogue with German defence industry. Since Mr Pistorius was at the German Army Armour School in Munster of on 20 February, it made good sense to schedule a stop at the nearby Rheinmetall plant at Unterlüß for talks.

Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger was on hand to brief the defence minister on topics such as the “Ringtausch” multilateral equipment exchange programme, support for Ukraine and the major expansion of capacity currently underway at Rheinmetall’s largest factory, for example in ammunition production.

“Neither the German defence ministry nor the German government makes its own ammunition”, noted Mr Pistorius in a concluding statement. “That’s why we have to find new ways forward, which we’re currently working on.”

For his part, Armin Papperger emphasized Rheinmetall’s clear commitment. “We want to be a strong partner of the German government and the German armed forces. We also want to make sure that our men and women in uniform get the best-possible equipment. And of course, we want to be a reliable partner of the German government when it comes to assisting Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression.”

The visit attracted a great deal of interest from the media, with nearly thirty reporters attending the press conference.


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