According to the armaments group, several Marder armored personnel carriers from the manufacturer Rheinmetall that have been decommissioned and modernized by the Bundeswehr are now ready for use and could be delivered to Ukraine immediately. “We are in the process of repairing 100 Marder armored personnel carriers, the first vehicles are already ready,” said Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger to “Bild am Sonntag”.

“When and where the martens are delivered is the decision of the federal government,” added the Rheinmetall boss. According to him, 88 Leopard 1 tanks and other Leopard 2 tanks are also in the depot at Rheinmetall for modernization.

Papperger described the Marder as a powerful combat vehicle that is still used by the Bundeswehr – for example in Lithuania. “We have also modernized the Marder over the years,” said Papperger.

The focus is on the safety of the soldiers – they have to be able to rely on the vehicle, especially in critical situations. “In particular, we check all components that are necessary for the marten to be able to drive and shoot reliably,” said the Rheinmetall boss.

Due to the high demand for military equipment, Rheinmetall wants to increase capacities. “We are expecting a significant increase in sales of up to 20 percent per year and are now in the process of increasing our capacities,” explained Papperger. “We will go into multi-shift operation at some locations.”

The production of ammunition can be at least tripled within twelve months, said Papperger. Truck production can be doubled – “because we can very quickly reactivate much of the infrastructure from the Cold War”. In order to be able to cope with the increased demand, the group, which currently has 25,000 employees, is also planning to hire 2,500 new staff.

Papperger assured that there would be no delivery shortages or bottlenecks despite the increased demand. “We still have an implementation period of two years for the Puma and three years for the Leopard 2. After all, they are highly complex systems for which we depend on the services of many suppliers,” said the Rheinmetall boss. “Only the high-performance engine for the Puma is custom-made, and we don’t have cannon barrels for the Leopard 2 in stock either.”