TechAdvanced defense systems to protect new armored vehicle factory in Ukraine

Advanced defense systems to protect new armored vehicle factory in Ukraine

Launching a missile from the Patriot system.
Launching a missile from the Patriot system.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons | BOHYUN PYUN
7:02 AM EST, December 7, 2023

The German conglomerate Rheinmetall is nearing completion on a massive armored vehicle factory construction in Ukraine, situated close to the Romanian border. The Russians have expressed their intention to attack and destroy the facility, but accomplishing this would not be easy. The factory will be guarded as stringently as the White House. But, what measures are in place for factory protection and what types of equipment will be manufactured there?

As Germany's largest military equipment manufacturer, Rheinmetall is venturing to construct a giant factory in Ukraine. This facility will yield tanks and armored vehicles, with an estimated annual output of around 400 units. So what specific models are expected?

German equipment factory in Ukraine to manufacture Fuchs and Lynx vehicles

In the summer of 2025, the production line is expected to roll out the first Lynx infantry fighting vehicles. However, the Fuchs vehicles, armored transports noted for their six-wheel design, 37,480-pound weight, and 13,230-pound load capacity, will debut a year earlier. Each car will be equipped with a 320 HP engine and an internal tire pressure regulation system, enabling excellent mobility even in challenging terrain and the capability of crossing water barriers.

The Fuchs vehicle crew comprises a driver, a commander (who can also operate the onboard MG3 machine gun), and up to ten soldiers. The transporter's armor is designed to effectively shield against handheld firearms and artillery fragments.

A stronghold: Guarded akin to the White House

The total investment for the Ukrainian Rheinmetall factory is projected at 218 million euros. NATO countries backing this project will also ensure its stringent protection. Unofficial sources suggest that at least three American Patriot air defense systems, along with German IRIS-T, will safeguard the facility.

Crafted by Raytheon, the Patriot system is considered one of the world's most efficient anti-missile technologies. Its radars continually scan the airspace, triggering immediate action upon a detected threat. The Patriot employs fragmentation warheads, each weighing approximately 198.416 pounds. The missiles, capable of reaching speeds of Mach 3 to 5, intercept targets at altitudes up to 14.91 miles and distances around 62.14 miles.

In contrast, the IRIS-T is a German short-range anti-aircraft system that can function independently. Its unique structure involves the use of a BAE Hägglunds Bv410 vehicle (equipped with two tracked undercarriages) which holds all other elements: the launcher, Giraffe radar, and command module. The system uses highly efficient missiles against highly maneuverable targets, capable of launching in several modes.

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