Espreso. Global

German city's authorities block extension of defense company that produces elements for IRIS-T missile system

28 December, 2023 Thursday
14:29

Europe's efforts to increase arms production and aid to Ukraine have hit a snag in the German city of Troisdorf, where local authorities are blocking major arms company's plans to expand production

Euractiv reports.

It is noted that this year, 27 EU members have promised to increase supplies of much-needed artillery shells to Ukraine. “The mayor of Troisdorf rarely has a role to play in international politics, but the local official was called to account by German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in parliament in early December for holding up the project,” the statement reads. For several weeks, the authorities in Troisdorf have reportedly had misunderstandings with the arms giant Diehl Defense, whose local factory produces ignition devices needed, among other things, for missiles and rocket charges. These parts are used in the production of the IRIS-T air defense system, three of which the German government has supplied to Ukraine.

The facility in Troisdorf plays an important role in Europe's goals of supporting Ukraine. The EU has promised to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells by March 2024.

The share of German industry in the EU plan should eventually reach 300-400 thousand shells per year, which is more than three times the production volume at the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

However, Diehl Defense now sees the future of its plant in Troisdorf under serious threat. After all, the city has decided to claim part of the business park where the group's subsidiary DynITEC is based. The arms manufacturer wanted to buy the land, with the former arms company Dynamit Nobel putting it up for sale, to expand its production capacity. For its part, the local government plans to turn the 50-foot-long plot, which is located near the city center, into residential and office development. “By calling the Troisdorf site into question, the Federal Republic of Germany’s defense capability is being undermined,” warned Thomas Bodenmueller, a member of the Diehl Defence Board of Directors.

City council members refused to give up such a large area in the city center. According to the local authorities, the production of explosives and munitions requires huge protective zones around the plant that cannot be built on for security reasons.

Despite mediation meetings on Christmas Eve, no compromise has been found. This is not the only case of such resistance. Earlier this year, the Rheinmetall Group, another German arms industry leader, announced that it would not build a new ammunition powder plant in the Eastern German state of Saxony. The project caused fear among the local population, and after failing to receive public approval, Rheinmetall moved the project to another location in Bavaria.

  • Gepard anti-aircraft guns, ammunition for Leopard and shells: Germany hands over new aid package to Ukraine.


 
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