Rheinmetall to Build 155mm Ammunition Factory in Lithuania

German defense company Rheinmetall has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lithuania to initiate the construction of an ammunition manufacturing facility.

The project, revealed in January, will establish a factory for NATO-standard 155-millimeter artillery shells for the Lithuanian armed forces, their German counterparts, and other EU partners.

Documents approved during the event specified the intentions and obligations to greenlight the infrastructure project in the country, setting out the implementation procedures to begin.

The agreement was signed by Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Economy and Innovations Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė, and Rheinmetall Strategic Program Coordinator Maximilian Froch.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė also attended the meeting.

“Rheinmetall wishes to thank the Government of Lithuania for the trust you put in us and proactive approach to the project,” Froch remarked during the signing.

“As a defence industry partner, we are pleased to contribute to the sovereignty of a country in the area of artillery ammunition.”

155-millimeter artillery ammunition is manufactured at Rheinmetall
155-millimeter artillery ammunition is manufactured at Rheinmetall. Photo: Axel Heimken/AFP

‘Two-Way’ Advantage

Lithuania said the contract is another milestone in its bilateral security and defense cooperation with Germany as it represents a “two-way” benefit for their strategic partnership.

The factory will also support the deployment of Berlin’s troops at a permanent Lithuanian base in response to tensions in Europe.

“This is a very important step for national security and defence,” Kasčiūnas said. “Arrival of the German defence industry company Rheinmetall in Lithuania will reduce our dependency on the long supply chains which currently present a significant challenge in the European Union and worldwide in providing for the military.”

“Development of such infrastructure in Lithuania will not only create additional jobs but will also bring expertise and defence technology of our partners.”

Assisting Ukraine

In addition to addressing Lithuanian and German military requirements, Vilnius also plans to leverage the ammunition factory to support Ukrainian warfighters in their continuing battle against Russian forces.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire towards Russian positions with a 155mm M777 Howitzer artillery weapon on the front line somewhere near the city of Bakhmut
Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire towards Russian positions with a 155mm M777 Howitzer artillery weapon on the front line somewhere near the city of Bakhmut on March 11, 2023 amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photo: AFP

“Freedom must be armed better than tyranny’ – today this notice President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenksyy expressed in the beginning of the wide-scale Russian war is more meaningful than ever,” Šimonytė stated.

“And even if we wish Ukraine’s victory to be reached at the soonest, we understand clearly that Russia will remain the most significant threat to Europe for a long time.”

“Therefore, we must promptly invest…in defence industry. The Rheinmetall ammunition production site stands as a practical example that we waste no time about this.

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