The logo of German defence company and automotive supplier Rheinmetall.InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall and US arms corporation Lockheed Martin have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide Germany with a new rocket artillery system, possibly a prototype of the US HIMARS rocket launcher, set to boost the capabilities of existing and combat proven components, the companies said on Friday. “Rheinmetall Defence and Lockheed Martin have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on tailored solutions that will provide Germany with a unique rocket artillery system that maximizes existing and combat proven components, produced in Germany,” the joint statement read. The arms manufacturers “will explore potential joint opportunities” in research development, production and other activities, the statement said. “For us, the letter of intent signed today is an agreement of strategic significance. The combination of Lockheed Martin’s proven capabilities and extensive know-how with Rheinmetall’s experience in fabrication and production opens unique opportunities for both sides,” Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said, as quoted in the statement. Paula Hartley, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Missiles and Fire Control, said that the company was looking forward to collaborating and optimizing combined resources “to meet an immediate need for deterrence.” In March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the German army was incapable of protecting the country in case of war due to a lack of personnel and insufficient infrastructure. The minister noted that Germany should invest more in the modernization of its army, adding that the country has to fulfill its obligations towards other NATO member states.