Rheinmetall AG is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, Kassel
Kassel is a town located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Kassel Regierungsbezirk and the Kreis of the same name and has approximately 195,000 inhabitants.- History :...

 and Unterlüß
Unterlüß is a municipality in the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approx. 30 km northeast of Celle, and 25 km southwest of Uelzen....

. The company has a long tradition of making gun
A gun is a muzzle or breech-loaded projectile-firing weapon. There are various definitions depending on the nation and branch of service. A "gun" may be distinguished from other firearms in being a crew-served weapon such as a howitzer or mortar, as opposed to a small arm like a rifle or pistol,...

s and artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 pieces. The company is also involved in a variety of advanced metal-working and milling technologies, allowing it to provide special high-quality components for small arms in addition to heavy weapon production.


With help from a consortium of banks, Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft was founded on 13 April 1889 by Heinrich Ehrhardt (born 1840 in Zella/Rhön
Zella/Rhön is a municipality in the Wartburgkreis district of Thuringia, Germany....

 - died in 1928 Zella-Mehlis
Zella-Mehlis is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated in the Thuringian Forest, 5 km north of Suhl, and 20 km east of Meiningen. The town of Zella-Mehlis is the site of the original Walther arms weapons factory. It remained there until the...


During the Spanish Civil War
Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War had large numbers of non-Spanish citizens participating in combat and advisory positions. Foreign governments contributed varying amounts of financial assistance and military aid to Nationalist forces led by Generalísimo Francisco Franco and those fighting on behalf of the...

, Rheinmetall-Borsig, then controlled by Hermann Goering, was a major supplier of arms to the Spanish Republicans, to Goering’s profit, even though German forces were fighting with the Spanish Nationalists. They were shipped via Pyrkal
Founded in 1874, Pyrkal is one of the oldest Defence Industries in Greece and the main producer of ammunition and explosives in the country. Throughout its history it has been one of the largest Greek companies, in fact a reflection of the history of Greek Industry itself...

 in Greece.

The company had a close relationship to the Nazi regime with Hermann Goering purchasing a majority stake in June 1938.

Rheinmetall built the MG 42, the Wehrmacht's main general-purpose medium machine gun. Its successor, the MG3, is still used by the Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

, as well as other armies.

Rheinmetall made bomb fuses during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The most notable was a double-capacitor design, invented by Herbert Ruhlman and patented in the UK before the war, which was particularly dangerous to defuse should the bomb not explode on impact. Many bomb disposal
Bomb disposal
Bomb disposal is the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the following fields:*Military:...

 personnel were killed. The patent for the fuse was filed in the UK two years before Hitler came to power in 1933. The UK Armed Forces spotted this and reference to the patent helped enormously with disarming these early bombs, although Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft and Ruhlman constantly innovated with many new electrical fuses being added to the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 armoury throughout the war. The U.S. Patent Office put a 32-year secrecy order on a similar patent by the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

 in 1948.

In 1990 the company acquired a majority stake in the military vehicle production facilities of Krupp
The Krupp family , a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments. The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp, was the largest company in Europe at the beginning of the 20th...

's Kiel plant; MaK System GmbH.

In 1993 Rheinmetall acquired Mauser AG
Mauser was a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to 1995. Mauser designs were built for the German armed forces...

 and in 1996 and 1999 the majority share-holdings of STN Atlas
STN Atlas
STN ATLAS Elektronik GmbH was a German defence company, producing sensors and other electronic or computer components such as Radar, Sonar, fire-control systems, simulations....

 and Oerlikon Contraves
Oerlikon Contraves
Rheinmetall Air Defence AG is a division of German armament manufacturer Rheinmetall, created when the company's Oerlikon Contraves unit was renamed on 1 January 2009 and integrated with Rheinmetall's other air-defence products...

, all of which are major European defense companies. STN Atlas was later split into Atlas Elektronik
Atlas Elektronik
Atlas Elektronik GmbH is a naval/marine electronics and systems business based in Bremen, Germany. It is involved in the development of integrated sonar systems for submarines and heavyweight torpedoes....

 and Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, the latter is now a full subsidiary of Rheinmetall.

In March 2008, Rheinmetall acquired Dutch defence company Stork PKV.


  • Rheinmetall 120mm Gun: both the L44 and L55 versions which arm the Leopard 2
    Leopard 2
    The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve...

    , M1A1 and A2
    M1 Abrams
    The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

     and Type 90 MBT
    Main battle tank
    A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

  • Rheinmetall M35: 105 mm main gun of the M8 Armored Gun System
  • 155 mm L52 Artillery Gun: main gun of PzH 2000
    PzH 2000
    The Panzerhaubitze 2000 , abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall for the German Army. The PzH 2000 is one of the most powerful conventional artillery systems currently deployed...

     self-propelled howitzer
  • MG3: 7.62 mm universal machine gun
    Machine gun
    A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

  • RMK30
    Rheinmetall RMK30
    The RMK 30 is a recoilless 30 mm caliber autocannon firing caseless 30 x 250 mm ammunition cartridges...

    : a 30 mm recoilless, caseless autocannon
    An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

  • Rheinmetall LTA2
    Rheinmetall LTA2
    Rheinmetall LTA2 is a 105 mm tank gun produced by the Rheinmetall firm of Germany.-See also:* List of artillery* Germany...

    : main gun of TAM
    TAM (tank)
    The Tanque Argentino Mediano , or TAM, is the main battle tank in service with the Argentine Army. Lacking the experience and resources to design a tank, the Argentine Ministry of Defense contracted German company Thyssen-Henschel...

  • MK 20 Rh202: 20 mm autocannon
    An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

    , primary armament of Marder
    Marder (IFV)
    The Marder is a German infantry fighting vehicle operated by the German Army as the main weapon of the Panzergrenadiere from the 1970s through the present day. Developed as part of the rebuilding of Germany's armoured fighting vehicle industry, the Marder has proven to be a successful and solid...

    , Luchs and Wiesel
    Wiesel 1
    The Wiesel Armoured Weapons Carrier is a German light air-transportable armoured fighting vehicle, more specifically a lightly armoured weapons carrier...

     armoured fighting vehicle
    Armoured fighting vehicle
    An armoured fighting vehicle is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked....

  • Rheinmetall 20mm Twin Anti-Aircraft Cannon: anti-aircraft gun
  • GDM-008 Millennium
    Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm Naval Revolver Gun System
    The Oerlikon Millennium 35mm Naval Gun System is a Close-in weapon system designed by Oerlikon for mounting on ships. It is based on the new Oerlikon 35 mm revolver cannon land based Air defense system, and uses AHEAD ammunition...

    : 35 mm naval air-defence gun
  • Skyguard: 35 mm air-defence gun system
  • Skyshield
    Skyshield is the name for two different products: one is the Skyshield advanced Airborne Support Jammer system developed by Rafael LTD. in Israel. The other is the Skyshield Short Range Air Defence system developed by the Swiss corporation Oerlikon Contraves...

    : 35 mm air-defence gun system
  • MANTIS (counter rocket, artillery and mortar): very short range air-defence system
  • MLG 27: 27 mm remote controlled autocannon, used on many ships of the German Navy
    German Navy
    The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

  • AGF (Light infantry vehicle)
    AGF (Light infantry vehicle)
    The Rheinmetall LandSysteme Light Infantry Vehicle for Special Operations, or LIV , is a German light armoured utility vehicle developed from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It is also known by the names Serval, Wolf and AGF. As the name implies, the LIV is designed specifically for use by special...

  • Rheinmetall YAK
    Rheinmetall YAK
    The YAK is a heavily armored and mine-protected transport vehicle produced by the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme AG based on the DURO IIIP chassis from the Swiss company MOWAG GmbH. DURO stands for DUrable and RObust....

    : armoured wheeled vehicle
  • Wiesel AWC: armoured weapons carrier in different versions
  • GTK Boxer
    Boxer MRAV
    The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR...

    : multirole armoured vehicle
  • Puma (IFV)
    Puma (IFV)
    The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle, the mass production has started on the 6th July 2009. It will replace the aging Marder IFVs, from 2010 through 2020. Governing company is PSM Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Puma is...

    : next generation infantry fighting vehicle of the German Army
    German Army
    The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

  • TPz Fuchs: multirole armoured vehicle
  • LeFlaSys: light air-defence missile system, based on Wiesel 2
  • Jacket cradle of Oto Melara
    Oto Melara
    Oto Melara is an Italian defence company with factories in Brescia and La Spezia. It was founded in 1905 as a joint venture of Vickers and Terni. During World War I, Vickers Terni produced many weapons with calibre 40 mm and upwards. In 1929 the company was renamed Odero Terni Orlando with the...

  • KZO: tactical UAV
    Unmanned aerial vehicle
    An unmanned aerial vehicle , also known as a unmanned aircraft system , remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft, is a machine which functions either by the remote control of a navigator or pilot or autonomously, that is, as a self-directing entity...

  • IdZ-ES
    Infanterist der Zukunft is the German Bundeswehr's program as part of the Future Soldier project. It is a modular, integrated fighting system designed to provide significant lethality, survivability, mobility, battle command, and training to the German infantryman...

    : The German Bundeswehr's
    The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

     Future Soldier program
  • Nanuk Remotely Controlled Weapon Station
    Nanuk Remotely Controlled Weapon Station
    The Nanuk is a remote weapon station used for light and medium caliber weapons which can be installed on any type of armored vehicles or Brown water patrol vessel. It is designed by Rheinmetall Canada, in Quebec, Canada...

     (Rheinmetall Defence Canada)
  • Amarok Remotely Controlled Weapon Station (Rheinmetall Defence Canada)
  • Qimek Remotely Controlled Weapon Station (Rheinmetall Defence Canada)
  • NBC protection systems
  • Ammunition
  • Cargo loading and aviation systems
  • Simulators
  • NBC reconnaissance systems
  • Mobile Power Distribution Systems (MPDS)

WWII and pre-WWII Products

  • QF 15 pounder
    Ordnance QF 15 pounder
    The Ordnance QF 15 pounder gun, commonly referred to as the Ehrhardt, was a modern German field gun purchased by Britain in 1900 as a stopgap measure to upgrade its field artillery to modern QF standards, while it developed its own alternative...

    : field gun sold to Britain in 1900
  • 7.5cm Kwk 42 (L/70): tank gun that was used in the famed German Panther tank of World War II
  • 7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40
    7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40
    The 7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40 was a recoilless gun used by the German Army during World War II.-Background:Development of recoilless weapons by Rheinmetall began in 1937 in an effort to provide airborne troops with heavy support weapons that could be dropped by parachute. Both Krupp and...

    : recoilless gun predominantly used by paratroops during World War II
  • 88 mm gun
    88 mm gun
    The 88 mm gun was a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognizable German weapons of the war...

    : Flak and anti-tank gun of World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • Solothurn S-18/1000
    Solothurn S-18/1000
    The Solothurn S-18/1000 20 mm Anti-Tank rifle was a Swiss and German anti-tank rifle used during the Second World War. It was a variant of the earlier S-18/100 with modifications for a higher muzzle velocity, as well as a larger cartridge size...

    : 20 mm Anti-Tank rifle
  • Rheinmetall MK 108: well-known WWII 30 mm

In fiction

The Rheinmetall company name appears in some science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

s, including Cyberpunk 2020
Cyberpunk 2020
Cyberpunk 2020 is a cyberpunk role-playing game written by Mike Pondsmith and published by R. Talsorian Games.- Overview :This role-playing game is based on the works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and other authors of the "Mirrorshades group"...

and the computer role-playing game Fallout
Fallout (computer game)
Fallout is a computer role-playing game produced by Tim Cain, developed and published by Interplay in 1997. The game has a post-apocalyptic and retro-futuristic setting in the mid-22nd century, featuring an alternate history which deviates some time after World War II, where technology, politics...



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