Rheinmetall has been awarded a contract to manufacture 300,000 rounds for the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks used by the Ukrainian Army.
The German defense ministry order is valued in the “low three-digit million-euro range.”
Half of the ammunition will be Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot – Tracers (APDS-T) featuring increased armor penetration.
The other 150,000 rounds will be High Explosive Incendiary – Tracer (HEI-T).
“Rheinmetall is currently creating additional medium-caliber ammunition production capacity, which is due to go into operation in summer 2023,” the company stated in a press release.
“In building this new production line, Rheinmetall is responding to sharply increased global demand.”
The first batch of APDS-T ammunition will arrive in Ukraine by the summer of 2023, while production for the HEI-T rounds will commence in mid-2024.
The Gepard Tank
Developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Gepard is a heavily-armored German mobile air defense system based on the chassis of the Leopard main battle tank.
Equipped with twin Oerlikon KDA 35-millimeter guns, each can carry 320 rounds of ready-to-fire, anti-aircraft ammunition.
The tank is fitted with independent search and tracking radars that provide 360-degree scanning and simultaneous target-tracking capability.
In April last year, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced that the country was sending its Gepard system to Ukraine to counter Russia’s sophisticated air assets.
An additional seven units are being prepared for Kyiv and should arrive this spring.