Together with its American partners Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, Rheinmetall has reached another important milestone in a key Bundeswehr project, while simultaneously opening a new chapter in German-American defence technology cooperation.

The Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise plans to build an ultramodern factory at Weeze in the Kleve district of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to produce fuselage sections for the F-35A Lightning II, the world’s top-performing warplane. The decision on where to place the factory followed a review of possible locations around Germany.

The new plant is due to produce at least 400 F-35A fuselage sections for the air forces of Germany and other friendly nations. An integrated technology group, Rheinmetall will be drawing here on its extensive experience in fabricating sophisticated components as well as in the aviation domain. Production is expected to commence in 2025.

“We’re proud that our longstanding partnership with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin and our decades-long relationship with the Bundeswehr is resulting in a genuine transfer of know-how to Germany”, declares Rheinmetall chief executive Armin Papperger.

Featuring state-of-the-art technology, the planned factory will be operated through Rheinmetall Aviation Services GmbH. It will feature 60,000 square metres of floor space. Over 400 highly skilled men and women will crew the ultramodern assembly line. In addition, the plant will include logistics and warehouse facilities, research and test centres, classrooms and quality control units.