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Rheinmetall AG is a Germanmarker automotive and defense company with factories in Düsseldorfmarker, Kasselmarker and Unterlüßmarker.


It was founded on 13 April 1889 by Heinrich Ehrhardt, with help from a consortium of banks, as Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft.

It has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces. The company is also involved in a variety of advanced metal-working and milling technologies. This has allowed it to provide special high-quality components for small arms in addition to its heavy weapon production.

In 1993 Rheinmetall acquired the Mauser AG and in 1996 and 1999 the majority share-holdings of STN Atlas and Oerlikon Contraves, all of which are major European defense companies. STN Atlas was later split into Atlas Elektronik and Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, the latter is now a full subsidiary of Rheinmetall.

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

Rheinmetall made bomb fuses during World War II, notably a double-capacitor design which was particularly dangerous to defuse should the bomb not explode on impact. Many bomb disposal personnel were killed. The patent for the fuse was filed in the UK two years before Hitler came to power and the UK Armed Forces spotted this and the patent then helped enormously with disarming these particular bombs. The US Patent Office put a 32-year secrecy order on a similar patent by the University of Illinoismarker in 1948.

The MG 42, the general-purpose medium machine gun of the Wehrmacht, was also built by Rheinmetall. Its successor, the MG3, is still used by the Bundeswehr.

Military products

Examples include:


WWII and pre-WWII Products


Image:Leopard 2 A6M.JPG|Leopard 2A6Image:120-2048 IMG.JPG|GTK Boxer

Image:PzH2000.Ger.jpg|PzH 2000 of the German ArmyImage:Serval 2.jpg|AGFFile:Autocannon MLG27.jpg|MLG 27 onboard an Elbe class tender of the German NavyImage:Ozelot.jpg|Wiesel 2 in the Ozelot anti-air version of LeFlaSys

In fiction

The Rheinmetall company name appears in some science fiction role-playing games, including Cyberpunk 2020 and the Computer role-playing game Fallout.

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