Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH
Rheinmetall Berlin AG, the parent company of a group of more than 60 industrial manufacturing firms, is a leading German producer in each one of its four primary fields: defense technology, paper and packaging machinery, high-tech automotive components, and, since 1993, office furniture. For most of its 100-year history, Rheinmetall Berlin and its predecessor corporations have been primarily involved in the weapons industry, and it was not until the 1980s that the balance of production shifted to nonmilitary industrial equipment.
Rheinmetall After the Cold War
With the end of the Cold War and resulting cutbacks in military spending, not only the group as a whole, but even the Defense Technology subsidiary Rheinmetall GmbH began to look for ways to expand into related nonmilitary technology. By 1989 the corporate strategy was redefined along with deeper diversification into nonmilitary industrial products, specifically security technology - caused by the fall of the Berlin Wall and by the East-West détente. Competence expanded in 1990 with the takeover of MaK Systemgesellschaft, a manufacturer of armoured vehicles. Rheinmetall AG operated in the markets for automotive components. Rheinmetall grew considerably through a number of acquisitions from 1993 onwards.
With the acquisition of Oerlikon Contraves AG (Zurich) in September 1999 Rheinmetall DeTec AG has consequently improved its competence as army systems supplier and at the same time its international competitiveness; Oerlikon Contraves AG is a world-wide recognised supplier of gun- and guided missile systems for air defence. [In the course of consolidating its global air defence operations, in 2008 Rheinmetall Defence renames Oerlikon Contraves AG "Rheinmetall Air Defence AG" ] In 2000, Rheinmetall Landsysteme, GmbH (formerly Thyssen Henschel) was established by the merger of the companies Thyssen Henschel, Rheinmetall GmbH, KUKA Wehrtechnik and MAK System. The lead in the market for land forces technology is lengthened through carefully targeted M&As. By acquiring a stake in the German AIM Infrarot-Module and taking over the Austrian medium-caliber specialist Arges, the Company pushed ahead with its policy of globalization and rounding off the product portfolio.
With the 2007 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 took over Dutch vehicle maker Stork PWV B.V. from its parent company Stork N.V. of Amsterdam in 2008, 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 programs in Europe. Underscoring the company's increasingly international outlook, later in 2008 Rheinmetall acquired 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.
In 2009 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 provides 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. In 2010 Rheinmetall AG and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG joined 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.
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