Assembly of battle tanks in Norway

'I would like to congratulate KNDS Deutschland and RITEK who have today signed an agreement which means that, for the first time in history, tanks will be assembled in Norway. 37 of the 54 Leopard 2 tanks Norway has ordered from German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann are to be assembled at RITEK in Levanger. This could be the start of a new Norwegian industrial adventure', said Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.

Tre menn som tar hverandre i hendene etter å ha signert avtale om stridsvognsproduksjon
Styreleder i RITEK, Edgar Andreas Fossheim (f.v), forsvarsminister Bjørn Arild Gram og Rainer Fichtner fra KNDS etter å ha signert avtalen om stridsvognproduksjon på Levanger. Credit: Synne Kvam / Forsvarsdepartementet

The agreement, which was signed in the Oslo Military Society on 11 June at an event for the Norwegian-German Chamber of Commerce, makes it possible for RITEK to become an official subcontractor for Leopard 2 tanks. The Norwegian government decided in 2023 to purchase 54 new Leopard 2 A8 NOR tanks. The tank is the most modern and digitized tank that has been made and is a very important measure for the strengthening of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

'The plan is for RITEK not only to assemble the Norwegian Leopard wagons, but also to become a Nordic hub for maintenance, repair and upgrading of the Nordic Leopard fleet. The production line is planned to be maintained after the Norwegian wagons have been produced, so that RITEK can continue to produce wagons to be exported to other countries. This is positive for both local value creation and Norwegian readiness', said Gram.

The agreement will help to strengthen NATO's and Europe's capacity to increase the production of tanks in the future. RITEK is centrally located near important logistics hubs in the middle of the Nordic region and in an area with access to the specialized workforce that the company needs to grow in the coming years.

'There is a need for increased heavy workshop capacity in the Nordics, which the agreement can facilitate. The contract signed by RITEK and KNDS Deutschland here today will strengthen both the industrial cooperation between Norway and Germany, while at the same time strengthening Europe's resilience and security of supply', said the Minister of Defence.

To Leopard A4 kjører på vinteren
Leopard 2 A4 på vinterøvelse. Etterkommeren Leopard 2A8 skal produseres i Trøndelag. Credit: Frederik Ringnes / Forsvaret