Chronicle 1999-2010

1999
Preparing itself for the alliances and consolidations which would characterise the forthcoming restructuring of the European defence industry, Rheinmetall moves to unite its defence technology capabilities under the banner of the newly founded Rheinmetall DeTec AG.

In September, Rheinmetall DeTec AG acquires a majority stake in Oerlikon Contraves AG of Zurich, a world-renowned supplier of combined gun and guided missile systems for air defence.

In order to bolster its position in the medium calibre sector and establish an even wider presence in the European market, Rheinmetall DeTec AG increases its stake in the Dutch corporation Eurometaal Holding N.V. to 66 percent.

At the end of 1999, Rheinmetall DeTec acquires the defence technology assets of IWKA Aktiengesellschaft of Karlsruhe. These include KUKA Wehrtechnik GmbH of Augsburg and Henschel Wehrtechnik GmbH of Kassel, both leading suppliers of wheeled armoured vehicles.
2000
The hitherto independently operating companies Henschel Wehrtechnik, KUKA Wehrtechnik and MaK System Gesellschaft mbH are merged to form Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.

To create synergies in the field of active and passive countermeasures systems for ground, air and naval applications, Nico Pyrotechnik Hanns-Jürgen Diederichs GmbH & Co. KG and RUAG Schweiz AG acquire 31 percent of BUCK Neue Technologien GmbH; in 2002, Rheinmetall DeTec becomes sole owner of BUCK Neue Technologien.
2002
Narrowing its focus to core defence activities, Rheinmetall sells the Eurometaal Holding N.V. subsidiary Intergas B.V., a furnace and boiler manufacturer. Eurometaal N.V. (Netherlands) is closed.

Rheinmetall's subsidiaries and affiliates are organised according to their competency into four strategic business units, each being responsible for its own markets and results:

  • Land Systems
  • Air Defence Systems
  • Weapon and Ammunition
  • Defence Electronics
In a parallel move, the company's operations in the large and medium calibre domain are merged in the Weapon and Ammunition division. As a result, the jointly managed companies Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH and Oerlikon Contraves Pyrotec AG are transferred to this division.

The German parliament approves a project to develop a new infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the Bundeswehr, viewed as a project critical for sustaining the future viability of the German defence industry. The ensuing development contract is worth some €200 million. In order to execute it, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann found the joint venture PSM GmbH, in which each company holds a 50-percent-stake.
2003
Rheinmetall acquires the remaining shares of Oerlikon Contraves AG, becoming sole owner of the air defence specialist.

In line with the Group's policy of focusing on ground forces technology, STN Atlas Elektronik is divided into two parts. Its Land, Air Systems and Simulation departments remain part of Rheinmetall DeTec, operating as Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH. The Naval Systems unit and the production departments are transferred to BAE Systems, former co-owner of the Bremen-based company.

Rheinmetall Landsysteme delivers the first of its new mine-resistant Marder 1 A5 infantry fighting vehicles to the KFOR troops in Kosovo.

The German navy receives the first remote-controlled MLG 27 light naval gun, developed for close-range self-protection of battle ships and other smallish units at sea.
2004
By selling the civil sector-oriented Heidel group (a manufacturer of machines and machine tools) as well as the Nico Feuerwerk GmbH, Rheinmetall DeTec successfully completes its strategy of shedding non-core businesses.

After almost ten years at the helm of the Defence sector, Dr. Ernst-Otto Krämer is retiring. In addition to his position as Rheinmetall AG's CEO, Klaus Eberhardt becomes Chairman of the Rheinmetall DeTec Executive Board.

Reacting to changing market conditions, Rheinmetall DeTec AG moves to reorganise its Weapon and Ammunition division. By merging Rheinmetall W&M GmbH (the previous parent company) with Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH, BUCK Neue Technologien GmbH and Pyrotechnik Silberhuette GmbH to form the new company Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, Rheinmetall DeTec AG – already Europe's leading supplier of ground forces equipment – aims to sharpen further its international competitive edge.

Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH, DIEHL Munitionssysteme GmbH and RAFAEL Ltd. signes an agreement establishing a new company, EuroSpike GmbH, which serves as the prime contractor for the EuroSpike Family of missiles for European customers.

By opening a representative office in Poland, the Rheinmetall DeTec group takes another major step on the path to internationalization, pursuing its strong commitment to serve important future markets. Furthermore the company takes another step forward in the globalization of its operations by setting up Rheinmetall Hellas S.A., and thus amplifying its presence with Nato member Greece.
2005
As part owner of the newly founded company HIL Heeresinstandsetzungslogistik GmbH, Rheinmetall Landsysteme has been entrusted with maintaining selected vehicles and weapons for the German Army over the next eight years.

Oerlikon Contraves Pyrotec AG is being renamed RWM Schweiz AG as part of moves to restructure the Weapon Munition divison.

Offering a host of advanced system solutions for internal security and civil defence tasks, Rheinmetall Defence's new "Public Security" unit is the company's robust response to contemporary threat scenarios.

By taking over medium-calibre specialist Arges m.b.H. of Schwanenstadt, Austria, and taking up a 50% stake in AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH of Heilbronn, Germany (which will now be run as a joint venture with Diehl), Rheinmetall Defence has taken its strategy of internationalization a step further as well adding to its growing portfolio of products.
2006
In Dresden, Saxony's Minister-President Milbradt commissions the world's biggest capacitor bank, the centerpiece of the new High Magnetic Field Laboratory of the Rossendorf Research Center. This ultramodern capacitive energy supply system was developed jointly with experts from Rheinmetall Weapon Munition.

As part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the German Army, the prototype of the German armed forces' new Puma infantry fighting vehicle is unveiled to the public for the first time.

Rheinmetall Weapon Munition achieves a breakthrough onto the international market with the first delivery of 12 MLG 27-type light naval guns to the Kuwait navy.

The NATO Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center confers its coveted Insensitive Munition Award on Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and Nitrochemie for its achievements in the field of improved gun propellant powder and propellant systems.
2007
With the acquisition of a 51-percent majority holding in the Bonn-based Chempro GmbH and its first stake in ADS Gesellschaft für aktive Schutzsysteme mbH based in Lohmar, Rheinmetall Defence is expanding its position as a supplier of land forces systems.

Rheinmetall Defence is commissioned by the Koblenz-based Federal Agency for Defence Technology & Procurement to develop a protective system for the German armed forces' forward operating bases. The close-range system provides protection for soldiers against terrorist attack through incoming missile, artillery or mortar rounds using state-ofthe-art air defence technology.

With the takeover of Zaugg Elektronik AG, an internationally renowned Swiss manufacturer of safety fuse systems for military use, Rheinmetall Defence adds another element to its spectrum of capabilities as all-in supplier of medium- and large-caliber ammunition.
2008
Rheinmetall Defence takes over Dutch vehicle maker Stork PWV B.V. from its parent company Stork N.V. of Amsterdam, bolstering Rheinmetall’s position as Europe’s leading supplier of systems for ground forces, and reinforcing its role in the Boxer project, one of the most important army technology programmes in Europe.

As the system supplier and current operator of one of the world's most advanced military training facilities — the German Army Combat Centre (GÜZ) -- Rheinmetall is responsible not just for supplying the system technology but also provides comprehensive technical and logistical support services to ensure smooth operation of the Centre.

Underscoring the company’s increasingly international outlook, Rheinmetall acquires a 51% share in the South African defence contractor Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd. of Pretoria, widening its global lead in the world of weapons systems, ammunition and propellants.

Rheinmetall Defence buys a 51% stake in LDT Laser Display Technology GmbH of Jena from Jenoptik, strengthening its status as a top supplier of sophisticated aircraft simulators for training pilots and flight crews. Moreover, the move expands Rheinmetall’s range of products by adding an array of high-performance visualization systems, placing the company on the global cutting edge in this crucial field.
2009
In the course of consolidating its global air defence operations, Rheinmetall Defence renames Oerlikon Contraves AG “Rheinmetall Air Defence AG”.

Rheinmetall receives the go-ahead for serial production of the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle, now the most important land systems project in Europe and the largest single order in recent company history.

A centre of expertise for infantry equipment components, the former Oerlikon Contraves Deutschland GmbH is renamed Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics GmbH, a leader in the field of advanced equipment for infantry forces.

The first serially produced Boxer armoured transport vehicle is transferred to the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) and Germany’s Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). The Boxer will provide the armed forces of Germany and the Netherlands with a highly protected, highly mobile transport vehicle, specifically designed to meet the challenges of modern military operations.
2010
Rheinmetall AG and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG join forces to found Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV). The joint venture company supplies the world’s armed forces with a complete range of wheeled transport, command and multipurpose vehicles, including armoured and non-armoured tactical systems.

Rheinmetall AG took over Norway's Simrad Optronics ASA by conducting a squeeze-out procedure and now holds 100% of the stock. Simrad produces components for remote control weapon stations, electro-optical devices and weapon system upgrades for a global client base.
  • cL historia

    Dr. Christian Leitzbach
    Hohenstein 150
    42283 Wuppertal
    Germany

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