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    Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

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    Austin

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  Austin on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:16 pm

    The Rise and Fall of Georgia’s UAVs

    Denis Fedutinov

    Georgia and Abkhazia have produced a startling amount of news this spring. Indeed, before the Abkhazians shot down the Georgian unmanned aerial vehicle, few had any idea that the Georgian army was equipped with the Israeli made Hermes 450 UAV.

    The Incident

    The first UAV was shot down on March 18 over Abkhaz territory, and the pieces were shown to journalists and the UN observer mission in Georgia. The second Georgian UAV was shot down on April 20 over the Gali district of Abkhazia. Georgian authorities claimed that the UAV was shot down by a Russian plane, and showed a video fragment transmitted by the destroyed UAV itself as proof.

    In the wake of this incident, the Georgians increased the number of UAV flights over Abkhazia, and reports of yet another incident involving Georgian UAVs were issued almost daily.

    However, the information circulated by both the Georgian and the Abkhazian sides are replete with inconsistencies and are clearly motivated by political considerations. The Abkhazians claim that they have defeated seven UAVs, while the Georgians attest to only two losses.

    The Hermes 450, built by Elbit Systems, one of the main defense suppliers to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, is a medium sized UAV. It has a relatively long flying time and can carry a fairly substantial payload, including stabilized optical-electronic observation equipment and a synthetic aperture radar, making it an ideal vehicle for reconnaissance flights.

    Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili claims that his armed forces possess 40 UAVs. This would seem like an excessive number, and the cost of that many Hermes 450 units would probably be beyond Georgia’s reach, even if Elbit supplied them at dumping prices.

    As for the video provided by Georgia, there are several reasons why their authenticity is in doubt. First, UAVs are made to observe objects on the earth, not in the air. Their cameras are housed in a semisphere on the underside of the vehicle, which makes it extremely difficult to focus on another flying object. The chances that this sort of camera could have caught another flying object at the very moment when it fired a missile are simply nonexistent.

    Second, as a rule, high-definition photos and video are stored on board the UAV, while only low-quality pictures are sent in real time, due to the restricted bandwidth of the transmission system. The video shown by the Georgians was ostensibly captured in real time, since the UAV was destroyed, and the low quality of the video does not allow for the identification of the type of plane, let alone the country to which it belongs. Arguments to the effect that «the aircraft has a twin rudder and is therefore Russian» simply do not stand up to examination.

    Consequences

    The UAV incident could have several consequences.

    Russian-Georgian relations are already at a low state, so the political consequences of the incidents are not as serious as they might otherwise have been.

    Military-technical relations between Russia and Israel, on the other hand, may feel the impact. The Caucasus is clearly in Russia’s sphere of national interests, and Russia is very sensitive about weapons transfers to the region, especially in the current context of heightened tensions. Elbit Systems has probably spoiled its prospects on the Russian market for several years to come.

    Of course, while Elbit has been pushing its military and dual-use products across the CIS, paying little attention to the possible consequences of some deals for its relations with Moscow, the Israeli state company IAI has followed a different policy, distancing itself from such deals and placing its stake on the development of cooperation with Russia.

    Finally, the incident has damaged the image of UAVs as one of the best-known products of Israeli high-tech industry. After all, who would wish to purchase equipment that is so easily defeated?

    One of the chief advantages of UAVs is that they are thought to present a difficult target for air-defense systems. They are much smaller than piloted aircraft, built mainly from composite materials, and leave only a very small trail of heat in their wake.

    One explanation for why the Georgian UAV was so easily defeated relates to the relatively noisy engine on the Hermes 450. In order to reduce the acoustic profile of the vehicle, the Georgians could either fly it at higher altitudes, reducing the quality of observation, or employ some contrivance to reduce the noise of the engine. Of course, the use of a «silencer» inevitably leads to increased production of heat, making the UAV an easier target for air-defense systems. It is possible that this sort of modification to the Hermes 450 is what led to its destruction.

    In connection with Georgian assertions that the second UAV was not shot down but lost due to some technical problems, several questions arise. First, the supplier asserts that the vehicle is reliable, and this statement is backed up by data derived from over 65 000 flying hours for this model. In this case, it is possible that the Georgian UAVs are not new, but rather sold from the operational stock of the Israeli Air Force. It is hard to say in what condition such vehicles would have been sold. Moreover, it is not known to what extent the Georgians may have modified the system to suit their needs. Finally, it is unclear to what extent the UAV operator or maintenance crew were trained to use the system. In principle, UAV operation requires highly trained specialists.

    If Georgia really did lose seven UAVs in such a short period, as claimed by the Abkhazians, then the Georgians would have had to be incredibly stubborn to have sent one vehicle after another to its demise along the same flight path and using the same tactics. Either the Abkhazians inflated their achievements, or the Georgians were incredibly inept in their operation of the UAVs.

    Conclusion


    The Hermes 450 is used extensively in Israel and in other countries. This UAV has been delivered to the USA for patrols along the US-Mexico border, and to the armed forces of Singapore, which has invested heavily in this technology. One of the latest project for which the Hermes 450 has been used is the UK Watchkeeper program, to replace the Phoenix UAV by 2010. The UK and other Elbit Systems customers will undoubtedly have been following the UAV incidents in Georgia-Abkhazia with redoubled interest.


    Austin

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  Austin on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:36 pm

    Force Development and the Armed Forces of Georgia under Saakashvili

    Vyacheslav Tseluyko

    The Georgian Army before Saakashvili

    The formation of the Armed Forces of independent Georgia began in the last days of the Soviet Union, with the creation of the National Guard on December 20, 1990.[1] The first draft to the National Guard was announced on April 30, 1991, a date now celebrated as marking the birth of the Georgian Armed Forces. The National Guard began operations in the early 1990s as a volunteer formation, most of whose members had no special military training, including officers and Tengiz Kitovani, its commander.[2] As with other such formations, it suffered from insufficient training and a low level of discipline.

    The National Guard was eventually integrated into the Ministry of Defense, established in 1992.[3] The lack of a unified military organization capable of concentrating forces and means, the pernicious influence of “atamans”(warlords), and the rebellion of the supporters of the deposed Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Georgia's first president, were the main factors leading to Georgia's defeat in the war with Abkhazia in 1992-1993.

    Following defeat in Abkhazia and the conclusion of civil war, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze renewed military reform. In particular, he disbanded volunteer military formations like Mkhedrioni. Nonetheless, other negative factors continued to plague the Army; first of all, a very low level of financing. Even in 2002, Georgia's defense budget was a mere 36 million lari ($16.4 million),[4] and in 2003, 60.9 million lari ($28.4 million).[5] High corruption and low discipline also deserve mention.

    The last years of Shevardnadze's rule saw greater military assistance from foreign governments. From April 2002 to April 2004 the United States implemented the Georgia Train & Equip Program (GTEP) worth $64 million. This involved the training of three light infantry battalions of the 11th Brigade (now the 1st Infantry Brigade, Gori), the 16th Mountain Battalion of the National Guard (from which the Mountaineering School in Sachkhere was formed) and a Combined Mechanized Batallion.[6] A total of 2,702 servicemen were trained under the GTEP.[7] In spite of the fact that the program concluded on April 24, 2004, that is, under Saakashvili, it owes its success to Shevardnadze and his military circle. Foreign assistance also included the training of Georgian commanders at foreign military academies, first of all in Germany, the United States , the Turkey, and Ukraine. Several current leaders of the Georgian Armed Forces underwent such training under Shevardnadze.[8]

    Foreign states also provided with military equipment and supplies. The transfer of 10 Bell UH-1H helicopters (including four for parts) from the United States, another two such helicopters from Turkey, 12 L-29 trainers, two Mi-14 helicopters, Tbilisi Project 206MR (Matka class) fast attack craft (missile) and six patrol boats from Ukraine should be noted.

    On the whole, the last years of Shevardnadze's rule were a period of qualitative growth for the Georgian army, even if it was on a smaller scale than would take place later under Saakashvili.[9]

    Contradictions in the Goals, Tasks, and Priorities for the Development of the Georgian Army

    After Mikhail Saakashvili came to power in late 2003, a range of defence conceptual documents and programs was adopted through 2005-2007, reflecting the aims, tasks, and priorities for the development of the armed forces of . Of these, it is worth mentioning the National Security Concept (NSC),[10] the Threat Assessment Document (TAD),[11] the National Military Strategy (NMS),[12] the Strategic Defense Review (SDR),[13] and the Defense Minister’s Vision.[14]

    The first to be adopted was the NSC, which expresses a global vision and touches upon not only military, but also financial, political, economic, environmental, and cultural issues. It declares the main interests of to be: (a) securing 's territorial integrity; (b) securing regional stability in the Caucasus and the Black Sea basin; and (c) securing 's role as a transit state.

    The main threats to Georgia's national security are identified as follows: (a) violation of territorial integrity, understood to mean the separatist republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; (b) the spread of conflict from neighboring states, from the Russian North Caucasus in particular; (c) military aggression on the part of foreign states (considered by the authors to be unlikely) or nonstate actors (more likely); (d) terrorism and sabotage, first of all against infrastructure like gas and oil pipelines, as well as against foreign missions; (e) smuggling and transnational crime; and (f) Russia's military bases as a short-term threat until they are fully withdrawn.


    The TAD and NMS documents are largely repetitive in their listing of the main threats to 's security. The NMS mentions the threat not only from Russian military bases but also from the Russian peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia and .

    Published in 2007, the SDR lists the following types of threat: (a) large-scale aggression against Georgia (low probability); (b) renewal of fighting on the territories of the former autonomous areas of Georgia; (c) spreading of conflict from the North Caucasus; (d) spreading of conflict from the South Caucasus; and (e) international terrorism. From 2007 to 2012, the most likely threat was considered to be the renewal of military action on the territory of the former autonomous regions; and, most dangerous, large-scale external aggression. From 2013 to 2015, the most likely threat was considered by the authors of the SDR to be international terrorism, with the most dangerous one stemming from the spread of conflict from the .

    Recommendations from NATO had a strong influence on the authors of the SDR, which led to serious contradictions. Thus, the armed forces of should undergo a transformation into a compact, lightly armed army, but at the same time be able to undertake independent military operations up to and including the repulsion of aggression by a foreign state. And although NATO membership was seen as an eventual guarantee against a large-scale external aggression (which was also expressed in the earlier NSC and NMS documents), preparations for this eventuality determined in large part the force generation strategy of the Georgian army in the meantime. The negative consequences of this contradiction were intensified by 's limited resource base.

    Participation in a conflict in the former autonomous regions would require the Georgian Armed Forces to possess a quantitative superiority (in terms of both manpower and military equipment) over the Abkhaz and Ossetian forces in both classical and antiguerrilla warfare terms. This would require a more numerous professional regular army and more numerous and more powerful heavy weapons, as well as numerous and well trained reserves.

    Potential aggression on the part of a more powerful foreign state (Russia) also demands a large professional army and reserves and corresponding armaments (for example, air-defense systems) as well as the ability to conduct guerrilla warfare. The latter requirement was reflected in the NMS where it notes that the main tactical unit of the Georgian Army – the light infantry battalion – should be able to conduct both classical military actions as well as guerrilla warfare in an autonomous mode, but within the framework of an overall strategy, for which the service personnel need to be adequately instructed.

    The following conclusions can be drawn:

    1.The above dualism in the approach toward the task of repelling large-scale foreign aggression had a significant influence on force generation under Saakashvili: either joins NATO or it develops an independent capability. Given limited resources, these options lead to different priorities for the development of the armed forces.
     
    2.The Saakashvili regime considered Russia to be Georgia’s main opponent, and the steps that took to reform its army leading to NATO membership were geared against . The task of confronting also led to the promotion of the “Total Defence” program of reserve training. A priority was given to deterring by means of inflicting unacceptable losses.
     
    3.The dualism of threats shaping military planning defined Georgia's requirement for universal armed forces, capable of both classical and antiguerrilla warfare in the framework of a hierarchical military structure, as well as guerrilla warfare conducted by autonomous formations on the basis of light infantry battalions.


    Reform of the Georgian Army under Saakashvili

    Structural Transformation

    To fulfill one of the requirements of the NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan,Georgia reformed its system of military governance, implementing a Western model of a civilian defense minister with its own administration alongside a Joint Staff, with a separation of functions between the Minister of Defense and the Joint Staff.[15] The Joint Staff commands: the service commands of the Armed Forces, departments (National Guard, rear support, education, intelligence, and military police),[16] and other structures. Other formations under central command include the following: Special Operations Group, located in the suburb of Vashlijvari suburb of Tbilisi and including, as of 2007, a Special Operations Detachment of officers,[17] a Special Operations Battalion, a School for Special Operations, and a Navy Detachment for Special Operations.[18] In addition, a Military Police Battalion was formed in 2008 under the control of the Minister of Defense.

    The Land Forces are the main service of Georgian Armed Forces.[19] In light of the experience of armed conflict of 2004 in , Saakashvili decided in the fall of 2004 to transfer the Internal Troops of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs to the Ministry of Defense, where they became the 4th Infantry Brigade.[20]

    As of the summer of 2008, the Georgian Land Forces included: the Headquarters, five Infantry Brigades (1st in Gori, 2nd in Senaki, 3rd in Kutaisi, 4th in Vaziani near Tbilisi, 5th in Khoni), an Artillery Brigade in Gori, an Engineer Brigade in Gori, six separated Battalions (Combined Tank in Gori counting 50 T-72 tanks, Light Infantry in Adlia, Medical in Saguramo, Communications in Vazinai, ELINT in Kobuleti, Maintenance in Tbilisi), an Air-Defense Batallion in Kutaisi (up four Osa-AK/AKM SAM batteries). The service strength of the Land Forces was about 22,000 men.[21] Meanwhile, the 5th Infantry and Engineer Brigades were still in the process of formation.

    The Infantry Brigades as of 2008 numbered as follows: headquarters (60 men) and headquarters company (108 men, two AIFVs), three light infantry battalions (591 men each), one combined tank battalion (two tank and one mechanized companies – a total of 380 men, 30 T-72 tanks and 15 AIFVs), a maintenance battalion (288 men), an artillery batallion (371 men, 18 122 mm D-30 towed howitzers, 12 120 mm towed mortars, 4 ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun systems), a reconnaissance company (101 men, 8 APCs), a communications company (88 men, two APCs), a combined engineer company (96 men) – all in all, 3,265 servicemen.[22] The Artillery Brigade served as the main means of fire support for the Land Forces. In mid-2008, it numbered up to 1,200 men and included: headquarters, a batallion of 152 mm 2A65 Msta-B towed howitzers, a batallion of 152 mm 2S3 self-propelled howitzers, a batallion of 152 mm Dana self-propelled gun-howitzers, a batallion of BM-21 Grad, RM-70 and a GradLAR multiple-launch rocket systems, a batallion 100-mm MT-12 anti-tank guns,[23] a training battalion, a supply battalion, and a security company.[24]

    In the summer of 2008, the bulk of the forces of the 1st Infantry Brigade (headquarters and headquarters company, all three light infantry battalions, the reconnaissance and engineer companies and communications company) were located in , numbering up to 2,000 men.

    The Land Forces were equipped with the following armaments as of the summer of 2008:

       * 191 T-72 main battle tanks in several versions (of which probably up to 120 were upgraded to the T-72-SIM-1 version);
       * 56 T-55AM main battle tanks;
       * 80 BMP-1 armoured infantry fighting vehicles (of which 15 were upgraded to the BMP-1U version);
       * 74 BMP-2 armoured infantry fighting vehicles;
       * 11 BRM-1K armoured combat reconnaissance vehicles;
       * 5 BRDM-2 armoured scout vehicles;
       * 17 BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers (of which two were upgraded to the BTR-70DI version);
       * 35 BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers;
       * 86 MT-LB armoured multipurpose tracked vehicles;
       * Six 203 mm 2S7 Pion self-propelled guns;
       * One 152 mm 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzer;
       * 13 152 mm 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers;
       * 24 152 mm Dana self-propelled gun-howitzers;
       * 11 152 mm 2A65 Msta-B towed howitzers;
       * Three 152 mm 2A36 Giatsint-B towed guns;
       * 109 122 mm D-30 towed howitzer;
       * 15 100 mm MT-12 anti-tank guns;
       * 40 85 mm D-44 and D-48 anti-tank guns;
       * Five 262 mm M-87 Orkan MLRS (uncorfirmed);
       *  Four or eight 122 mm/160 mm GradLAR/LAR-160 MLRS;
       * Six 122 mm RM-70 MLRS;
       * 16 122 mm BM-21 Grad MLRS;
       * About 80 120 mm towed mortars and up to 300 mortars with calibers of 60, 81, and 82 mm;
       * 15 57 mm S-60 towed anti-aircraft guns;
       * 30 23 mm twin ZU-23-2 towed anti-aircraft guns (some of which mounted on MT-LB vehicles);
       * 15 23 mm quad ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun systems;
       * up to 18 9K33M2/M3 Osa-AK/AKM (SA-8B) SAM system self-propelled launchers.

    The Georgian Army also had a large quantity of 9K111 Fagot and 9K111M Faktoria (AT-4), and 9K113 Konkurs (AT-5) anti-tank guided-missile systems, as well as 9K32M Strela-2M (SA-7B), 9K34 Strela-3 (SA-14), 9K310 Igla-1 (SA-16), 9K38 Igla (SA-18), and Grom MANPAD systems.

    According to the SDR, following NATO recommendations, the service strength of the Georgian Army was to be drawn down to 11,876 men and three infantry brigades by 2015. However, in preparation for a military campaign against the former autonomous regions, the Land Forces were not shrinking, but rather growing in number. This was reflected in the Minister's Vision for 2008-2011, which was meant to explain to NATO the reasons for the growing numbers of the Georgian Frmy and first of all the established of the 5th Infantry Brigade, and the refusal to disband the 4th Infantry Brigade.[25] The increase in the numbers of the Georgian contingent in Iraq from 850 to 2,000 servicemen and the increasing tension in relations with Russia were offered as the main justifications.

    In September of 2007, the Georgian Parliament voted to increase the service strength of the armed forces from 28,000 to 32,000 men.[26] Shortly thereafter, the Georgian Minister of Defense announced the recruitment of contract servicemen to the 4th and the soon to be established 5th Infantry Brigades. In early 2008, the new Engineer Brigade began formation in Gori. In July of 2008, the Georgian Parliament made yet another decision to increase the number of servicemen to 37,000, which led to the announcement of the establish of a 6th Infantry Brigade, as well as increases to the air-defense and Naval forces.

    In accordance with NATO recommendations,[27] the National Guard was transformed from an alternative Army to a training structure for reserves, providing for mobilization, home defense and assistance to civilian authorities. The need to reduce the number of servicemen in accordance with NATO recommendations, combined with the lack of any resolution to the Abkhaz and Ossetian issues, and the sharpening of relations with required the Georgian leadership to find means of combining these contradictory requirements. One way out was to establish a large-scale program for the training of reserves.

    Following the armed conflict in in 2004, a decision was made to create territorial battalions of the National Guard on a volunteer basis. Volunteers were put through a three-week training course. In total, 27 battalions were formed.[28] In reality, the full-scale process of creating an organized reserve force got under way after the adoption in September of 2006 of the “Total Defense” concept and the adoption of the Law on Service in the Reserves in December of 2006.[29] According to the latter document, Georgian reserves are formed of three components: active reserves, National Guard reserves, and individual reserves. The first component was formed on the basis of a draft of Georgian citizens, the second one united the battalions trained in 2004-2006, and the third one was made up of former servicemen of the regular army. In 2007, the training of light infantry battalions began to follow an 18-day program. It was planned to unite them in five brigades (the 10th in Kojori, the 20th in Senaki, the 30th in Khoni, the 40th in Mukhrovani, the 50th in Telavi). In addition to light infantry battalions, the reserve brigades would include also artillery batallions.[30] In addition, the 420th Reserve Tank Battalion was established in 2008.[31]

    The Georgian Air Force counted some 2,000 men by mid-2008, including: the Headquarters and Aviation Operational Center, the Marneuli Airbase (with a Squadron of Su-25 attack planes and a Squadron of L-39 trainers), the Alekseevka Airbase (with a Squadron of Mi-8 helicopters and a Squadron of UH-1H and Bell 212 helicopters), a Combined Helicopter Squadron (Mi-8, Mi-14, and Mi-24 helicopters), a Training Center that included a Squadron of An-2 aircraft, a Squadron of UAV's, six radar stations, a ELINT detachment , an Air-Defense Base, including two S-125M (SA-3B) SAM systems batallions near Tbilisi and Poti and one (probably, second formed) Buk-M1 (SA-11) SAM system batallion in Gori.

    Air Force combat action against Abkhazia and South Ossetia used the Senaki forward airbase. The Georgian Air Force included 12 Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft (of which six were upgraded to the Su-25KM version), two Su-25UB combat trainers, 12 L-39C jet trainers, four Yak-52 piston-powered trainers, six An-2 Colt light transport airplanes, five Mi-24V and three Mi-24P Hind attack helicopters, 18 Mi-8T/MTV Hip utility helicopters, two Mi-14PS Haze utility helicopters, six Bell UH-1H Huey and six Bell 212 utility helicopters.

    The Georgian Navy in 2008 were composed of a main naval base in Poti, naval base in Batumi and Squadron of surface ships composed of a Flotilla of missile ships (fast attack craft), a Flotilla of patrol boats, a Flotilla of supply (landing) ships, a Marine Infantry Batallion, and mine countermeasures squad.

    With a strength of about 1,000 men the fleet included two fast attack craft (missile) (Tbilisi and Dioskuria), eight patrol boats, two small landing ships, two landing boats and up to six small crafts.

    Georgia also had a Coast Guard, with one patrol ship (a former German minesweeper) and up to 35 patrol boats and crafts. There were plans to fold the Coast Guard into the Navy by 2015.[32]

    Training


    In the area of training, the Georgian leadership was able to attain great success due to: (a) higher quality of training of servicemen associated with the transition to contractual staffing; (b) reform of the system of military education and training; and (c) foreign assistance.

    Compared with other CIS states, the transition to a contractual army proceeded with relative success and was aided by two important factors. First, Georgians entering the armed forces have a relatively high level of motivation due to the presence of unresolved conflicts on their territory and the likelihood that these would be addressed using force. Such motivation was especially high among Georgians who came from the former autonomous regions. The second factor was the relatively high pay given to servicemen. In 2008, a corporal's wage was $640 per month and a lieutenant's $770, which was 8.6 and 7.3 times higher than their respective wages in 2004 (not taking inflation into account).[33] Moreover, servicemen enjoy social subsidies as well as good living conditions on new or modernized military bases. In sum, by 2008 the entire Georgian Army, except the 4th Infantry Brigade, had completed the transition to fully professional service.

    The training process for officers underwent significant change. In place of the Soviet system of training for junior officers over several years, the Western system of staged training was implemented, starting with a relatively short period of instruction followed by service in the forces. The high demand for officers for both the regular Army (including new units) and for the National Guard called for the introduction of short-term training programs (levels A, B, C) lasting 7-10 months, after which the successful student is awarded the rank of lieutenant.[34] Only those with higher education could enter this program. The in-depth training of young officers at level C involved specific skills, such as airmobile, parachute and mountain training, and lessons on topography and urban combat given by foreign instructors.[35] The shortage of young officers also led to the creation of accelerated programs for sergeants with higher education in contract service. They would be awarded the rank of junior lieutenant after the successful completion of a 9-week course.

    A new stage in the preparation of officers was professional classes for captains, offered by the existing . Over the course of 12-18 weeks, officers would raise their qualifications to the level of senior lieutenant, captain, and major, mostly company commanders and battalion chiefs of staff.[36] Moreover, there is an accelerated five-week course for captains, which 11 officers from the 5th Infantry Brigade completed.[37]

    It is worth mentioning two particularities of the personnel policy of the Georgian Army that had a negative effect on its combat readiness: (a) the large number of young officers who were granted very quick advancement; (b) frequent shuffles in the army's leadership, which led to young officers with low ranks holding high positions; for example, infantry brigades were often commanded by majors, and sometimes even captains). Also, for political reasons, Saakashvili rarely fired any trained servicemen from the Armed Forces.

    Foreign assistance to the Krtsanisi National Training Center contributed to improved training for servicemen as a whole. Foreign instructor training allowed to establish its own Basic Combat training for officers and recruits. The US-funded Georgia Sustainment & Stability Operations Program (GSSOP-I and GSSOP-II) deserves special mention. The first took place from the spring of 2005 to the fall of 2006, training three light infantry battalions, a maintenance battalion of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades, as well as a reconnaissance company of the 2nd Infantry Brigade and a company of military police. The second program began in the fall of 2006 and finished in the summer of 2007, training two light infantry battalions, a maintenance battalion of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, its reconnaissance and engineer companies, and a communications company, as well as an engineer company and a communications company of the 2nd Infantry Brigade.[38]

    Foreign assistance also enabled the establishment of a School for young commanders in Gori (later moved to Krtsanisi, with the assistance of American and Israeli instructors) and a in Sachkhere (with the assistance of French and Swiss instructors).[39]

    In addition to NATO states, foreign assistance was also forthcoming from . 150 Georgian servicemen were trained at the Air Force University in Kharkiv, including no fewer than 30 pilots.[40]

    A massive program to train active reservists was launched under the “Total Defense” concept in 2007. The plan for the National Guard for 2007 and 2008 envisaged the training of 25,000 reservists per year with an 18-day program. Moreover, a program for the training of 27 territorial battalions of the National Guard was in preparation.[41] In view of the short duration of these programs, observers viewed the quality of the training for reservists skeptically.

    In summary, the Georgian Army underwent a qualitative change for the better since Shevardnadze's rule. The regular Army, in spite of its quantitative growth, became more professional thanks to national training combined with foreign one, extensive exercises, measures to increase interoperability with NATO forces, and participation in various operations outside of Georgia under NATO and US command (three infantry brigades and a number of smaller units fought in Iraq). The training of the active reserve of the National Guard did not meet the requirements of the “Total Defense” concept.

    That said, there were several reports on the internet in 2008 citing foreign (American, Israeli, Ukrainian) military instructors and advisors critical of Georgian military training and preparedness. They remarked upon the low educational levels of those who signed up for contract service, serious problems with discipline among the troops, including theft of military equipment, a high level of corruption and cronyism, the lack of willingness of many officers to improve their low level of military training, the moderate demand made by commanders on their subordinates, and the inclination of the Georgians to self-congratulation.

    Arms and Military Equipment Acquisition Programs


    Saakashvili initiated an active program of defense procurement, allocating a huge amount of funds for this purpose, reaching 291.8 million lari ($194.5 million) in 2008.[42]

    One of the major acquisition programs for the Land Forces began in January of 2008 with replacement of Kalashnikovs used by the regular Army with 5.56 mm M4A3 automatic carbines, purchased from US Bushmaster company (4,000 carbines were delivered by the end of 2007). The old Kalashnikovs were transferred to use of the reserves. In 2006-2007, a large batch of AK-74 and AKM (31,100 and 15,100) assault rifles and old 7.62 mm and 7.92 mm rifles were purchased from Ukraine.[43]

    made several significant purchases to improve its stock of heavy weaponry:

      1.Self-propelled artillery. From 2003 to 2006, purchased 152 mm 2S3 and Dana self-propelled howitzers from Ukraine and the Czech Republic (12 and 24 units respectively).[44] also purchased five 203 mm 2S7 Pion long-range self-propelled guns from Ukraine.
     
    2.Multiple-launch rocket systems. From 2003 onward purchased six 122 mm RM-70 MLRS from the Czech Republic. It also purchased four (or eight) Israeli GradLAR systems, including 160 mm LAR-160 Mk IV rocket s with a range of up to 45 km, as well as the 262 mm M-87 Orkan MLRS purchased from Bosnia & Herzegovina.[45]
     
    3.Mortars, especially for mountain and guerrilla warfare. In addition to those systems inherited from the Soviet Army, purchased mortars from Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Czech Republic .[46] In addition,Greece donated 60 mortars in 2008.[47]
     
    4.Tank forces were bolstered with significant purchases of Soviet armor from Ukraine and the Czech Republic (from 2004 to 2007, Georgia acquired 160 T-72 tanks, 52 BMP-2 armoured infantry fighting vehicles, 15 BMP-1U upgraded armoured infantry fighting vehicles with new Shkwal turrets, 30 BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers, two BTR-70DI upgraded armoured personnel carriers, 14 MT-LB armoured multipurpose tracked vehicles).[48]
     
    5.The Georgian leadership devoted significant attention to army mobility. 400 new KrAZ trucks were purchased from , including 150 vehicles in 2008.[49] purchased new KamAZ military trucks from Russia, and Land Rovers and Toyota Hilux pickups from other countries.
     
    6. Large quantity weapons purchased for the infantry: 30 mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers from Ukraine and the Czech Republic and the and the Fagot, Faktoria and Konkurs anti-tank guided-missile systems from Bulgaria (total up to 150 launchers and 1750 anti-tank missiles).[50]

    Procurement was supplemented with modernization programs, for instance, the upgrades of 191 T-72 tanks by the beginning of 2008 (probably developed the Israeli Elbit Systems project). The Georgian T-72-SIM-1 upgrade tank was equipped with GPS navigation receivers, battlefield combat identification system, thermal images cameras for the tank commander and driver, Harris Falcon communications system as well as the Ukrainian Kombat laser-guided missile projectiles (400 Kombat missile projectiles were delivered from Ukraine in 2007). The first upgraded tank company was completed of trainng course February 25, 2008, and probably up to 120 tanks were upgraded by August 2008.[51]

    Other significant purchases for Air Force include the 12 L-39C jet training aircraft and the two Mi-8MTV and seven Mi-24V/P helicopters from Ukraine, six Bell 212 helicopters on secondary civil markets, 9M114 Shturm-V (AT-6) anti-tank guided-missiles from Kazakhstan,[52] Elbit Hermes 450, Elbit Skylark and Defense Aeronautics Aerostar UAVs from Israel, and the upgrades of six Su-25 to Su-25KM Scorpion by the Israeli Elbit Systems. A contract with US Sikorsky Aircraft for the delivery of 15 new UH-60 Blackhawk utility helicopters by 2010-2011 was signed.[53] Future purchases of fighters and up to five C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft were planned.

    In order to neutralize the Russian Air Force in case of conflict, the Georgian Air Force invested heavily in air defenses. Two new 36D6-M radars, up to five Kolchuga-M passive electronic monitoring radar systems, one Mandat electronic warfare systems, a batallion (or two batallions) of Buk-M1 SAM systems, and up to four batteries of the Osa-AK/AKM SAM systems were purchased from Ukraine,[54] and four P-18 Spoon Rest radars were modernized to the P-180U version by the Ukrainian Aerotekhnika company. The Georgian Army also acquired a large number of MANPADs, including the Igla-1 from Ukraine and Bulgaria and and the Grom from Poland.

    The Georgian Navy acquired the Dioskuria Fast Attack Craft (Missile) (French La Combattante II class) from Greece as military assistance, along with 10 Exocet MM38 anti-ship missiles.[55]

    The Georgian Ministry of the Internal Affairs since 2007 also delivered 100 Turkish Otokar Cobra light armoured personnel carriers.

    Infrastructure Development


    Significant resources were allocated under Saakashvili to the development of defense infrastructure, with two main goals in mind. The first one was to improve the quality of life of the servicemen; and second, to deploy units and subdivisions of the Georgian Army to the vicinity of the zones of conflict.

    The priority given to the second factor led to the creation of a base in Gori for the 1st Infantry Brigade, in Senaki for the 2nd Infantry Brigade, the re-deployed of Artillery Brigade to the former base of the 3rd Infantry Brigade in Gori, and established of bases in Khoni for the new 5th Infantry Brigade.

    This allowed for the concentration of the 1st Infantry, Artillery and Engineer Brigades within 30 km of the Georgia-Ossetia conflict zone, the 2nd Infantry Brigade within 40 km of the Inguri river, which marks the border between Georgia and Abkhazia, and the new 5th Infantry Brigade within 60 km.[56] In addition, the 3rd Infantry Brigade in Kutaisi was positioned for action against Abkhazia as well as South Ossetia.

    In addition to the establishment of new bases, the old ones, for the regular Army as well as those transferred to the National Guard as training centers, were rebuilt.Turkey assisted with the reconstruction of the Marneuli Airbase.[57]

    Financing

    The contribution of foreign financing should not be underestimated: the various programs were worth millions or even tens of millions of dollars, with the largest (GTEP and GSSOP-I) amounting to about $60 million each. And though received assistance from many states, the total volume of this assistance (about $300 million over the past five years) was not terribly significant as a percentage of overall Georgian spending. Foreign assistance had a more significant impact during the late years of Shevardnadze's regime and the early Saakashvili years, when the Georgian defense budget was much smaller. Moreover, Georgia paid for this assistance through the participation of Georgian forces in US and NATO operations in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, which cost the Georgian budget at least as much as, if not more than, what it received in military assistance.

    Defense Spending of Georgia from 2003 to 2007

    Planned spending, million lari

    60.9
    67
    138.9
    392.6
    513.2

    Actual spending, million lari

    60.9
    173.9
    368.9
    684.9
    1494

    Actual spending, million dollars


    30
    97
    203
    388
    940

    Share of GDP in %

    0.7
    1.8
    3.2
    4.9
    8

    Source: Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of Georgia, Tbilisi, 2007.

    Two tendencies are worthy of note: the significant increase of defense spending under Saakashvili (over 31 times in dollar values from 2003 to 2007) and the growth of spending over the course of a year. In 2007, for example, actual spending (after three increases to the defense budget over the course of the year) was 2.9 times higher than originally planned. The budget for 2008 was originally set at 1.1 billion lari, but increased by 295 million in June 2008, making for a total defense budget for 2008 of 1,395 million Lari, or about $990 million.

    Conclusions


    Mikhail Saakashvili's efforts to reorganize the Georgian Army were put to a fatal test when he made the rash decision to invade . The operation “Tsminda Veli” (Clear Field) to seize Tskhinvali led to a confrontation with and a massive return strike by Russian forces. The Georgian Armed Forces collapsed in the face of a superior foe.

    In the course of subsequent Russian military operations, which took place in the absence of any resistance by the demoralized Georgian Army, Russian forces occupied and destroyed the well-equipped Georgian military bases at Gori and Senaki, and in Poti they seized and scuttled almost all of the ships and boats of the Georgian Navy and Coast Guard. The Russians seized and removed rich trophies. Taking combat losses into account, the Georgian Army lost between a third and a half of its ground forces heavy weapons and equipment, and almost all of its air defenses, Air Force and Navy.

    Even more important, the Georgian elite and the Georgian Armed Forces suffered a tremendous psychological blow. The Georgian Army, in which so many resources were invested, proved incapable of defending the homeland, never mind challenging the Russians. The entire force generation effort of the past five years proved to be senseless, and any chances for revenge in the future appear to be improbable.

    It is likely that the trauma suffered by the Georgian people will lead to a cardinal reexamination of the direction of force development in taken over the past few years. The ambitious, militaristic policy of 's leaders was an utter failure. Saakashvili dreamed of turning into a “Caucasus Israel.” In fact, Saakashvili turned out to be a Georgian Nasser, in his extreme overestimation of the military capabilities of his country, which led to a catastrophe similar to that suffered by Egypt in June of 1967.

    [1] Rusadze N. National Guard’s Day // Defence Today, No. 6, 2007. p. 1.

    [2] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=5&sm=2).

    [3] Darchiashvili, D. Gruzia: zalozhnitsa oruzhiya // Kavkaz: vooruzhen I razobshchen (www.abkhaziya.org/books/kavkaz_lsw/georgia.html).

    [4] Ibid.

    [5] Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 98.

    [6] U.S. Embassy in press releases: 05.02.2002; 05.08.2003; 09.01.2003; 12.13.2003; 01.17.2004; 04.21.04 (georgia.usembassy.gov).

    [7] The History of «Krtsanisi» National Training Center // (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=5&sm=12&ssm=1).

    [8] Data on the top management of the Ministry of Defense, the United Headquarters, armed services, and the National Guard on Georgia’s MOD web site (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=1) and that of the Georgian National Guard (http://guard.mod.gov.ge/en/mmartveloba.php).

    [9] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf) and SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [10] Official site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=3&sm=1); Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 66.

    [11] Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 66-67.

    [12] Official site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=3&sm=3); Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 67.

    [13] Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007.

    [14] Official site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=3&sm=2).

    [15] Official site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=4&sm=1).

    [16] Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 86.

    [17] Kakabadze, E. Reforma v tsvete khaki // Ogonek, No. 21, 2008.

    [18] Interview with the head of the financial department of the Ministry of Defense, B. Makharidze.  // Defence Today, No. 3, 2007. p. 2

    [19] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=3&sm=3).

    [20] Voennyye novosti iz Gruzii // Zarubezhnoye voyennoye obozreniye, No. 12, 2004, p. 21.

    [21] Strategic Defence Review // Ministry of Defence of , , 2007. p. 86.

    [22] Ibid. p. 87.

    [23] Ibid. p. 89.

    [24] Interview with the head of the financial department of the Ministry of Defence, B. Makharidze. // Defence Today, No. 3, 2007. p. 2

    [25] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=3&sm=2).

    [26] www.newsgeorgia.ru 09.14.2007.

    [27] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defence (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=4&sm=1).

    [28] New Reserve Training & Management Concept, 2007. p. 4.

    [29] Official web site of the Georgian National Guard (www.guard.mod.gov.ge/en/iuridiuli.php).

    [30] Official web site of the Georgian National Guard (www.guard.mod.gov.ge/en/struqtura.php).

    [31] Official web site of the Georgian National Guard (guard.mod.gov.ge/en/news_list.php)/, news from 05.062008, 05.25.2008.

    [32] Ibid. p. 86-90.

    [33] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defence (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=6).

    [34] Training Program of the National Defence Academy // Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defence (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=5&sm=12&ssm=2&acm=4&acsm=1); Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defence, Press Releases: 08.03.2006, 04.02.2007, 04.18.2007, 05.17.2007, 05.28.2007, 07.26.2007, 08.24.2007, 11.03.2007 (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=1).

    [35] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defence, Press Releases: 08.03.200604.02.2007, 04.18.2007, 05.17.2007, 05.28.2007, 07.26.2007, 08.24.2007, 11.03.2007 (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=1).

    [36] Ibid. 08.22.2005, 12.23.2005, 02.02.2007, 07.27.2007, 02.08.2008.

    [37] Graduation Ceremony of Captain Career Courses 02.29.2008 Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=11&sm=0&id=863).

    [38] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense, Press Releases: 12.16.2005, 01.27.2006, 03.24.2006, 07.17.2006, 09.01.2006, 09.29.2006, 10.13.2006, 12.21.2006, 01.26.2007, 04.14.2007, 04.20.2007, 06.15.2007 (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=1).

    [39] The History of Sachkhere Mountain-Training School // Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=5&sm=12&ssm=3).

    [40] Londaridze Sh. Georgian Pilots Trained in // Defence Today, No. 11, 2008. p. 4.

    [41] New Reserve Training and Management Concept, 2007. p. 22.

    [42] Official web site of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=6).

    [43] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf)

    [44] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf) and SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [45] Ibid.

    [46] Ibid.

    [47] Military Grant Agreement with the Hellenic Republic 06.18.2007 Official website of the Georgian Ministry of Defense (www.mod.gov.ge/?l=E&m=11&sm=0&id=617).

    [48] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf) and SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [49] Statement of Defense Minister of Ukraine Yuri Ekhanurov //(www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=ua∂=news⊂=read&id=12093), 06.05.2008.

    [50] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf) and SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [51] Topuria M. Training with Modernized Tanks // Defence Today, No. 8, 2008. p. 4.

    [52] UN Register (disarmament.un.org/un_register.nsf) and SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [53]  Russian Ministry of Defense (www.mil.ru/files/table_15_05.doc).

    [54] Ibid.

    [55] SIPRI (armstrade.sipri.org/arms_trade/trade_register.php).

    [56] Arabuli M. Recruitment for V Infantry Brigade Underway // Defence Today, No. 6, 2007. p. 1; Tsimakuridze R. New Military Base in Gori // Defence Today, No. 7, 2008. p. 1.

    [57] Kurashvili K. New Squadron HQ Building Opened // Defence Today, No. 4, 2007. p. 2.

    Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST)
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    GarryB

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    Force Development and the Armed Forces of Georgia under Saakashvili

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:13 am

    Interesting... a lot of info to take in.

    Thanks for posting.

    Can only vote for one post a day and I already voted for your interesting post on the T90 and T95 photos thread for today...

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    TheGeorgian

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    Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:52 pm

    So some of you may be aware of the GAF's long term transformation into a war capable military force, unlike what we had in the 90s and 2008. The process theoraticaly started right after the last conflict, but there is a new modernisation plan ongoing with new reforms wich started just earlier this year in 2014. It's predicting to have a mobile combat effective and highly specialised defense force ready in 2020 if not a few years earlier. This is neither intended to be a promoting thread, nor glorification, bias, trolling or whatsoever. Just to follow the process and discuss. Everyone is welcome to share any information and opinion he has.

    What we currently know:
    2014/2015 plan to get rid of the entire Soviet helicopter park. That includes transport as well as gunships.
    So far the only other foreign helicopters we posess are the US Hueys delivered from Turkey and some Pumas for rescue operations. However they belong to MIA.

    as of May 2014: plan to sell six of the GAF's Su-25 CAS aircraft to add to financial support. However, I am not sure how they hope to gain any real win from such a deal.

    Plan to reduce tank fleet has not yet been considered. Though there are rumors.

    Retrain and improvement of every single infantry component. Ranging from avarage soldier to commando. Better saleries and health insurance, better qualification, a wider range of education, skills, capabilities and tasks, better equipment and more cooperation with other armies. Recent event is ongoing retraining of recon forces on the level of special forces.

    So far there are already quite noticable improvements at this stage. Another few years will be quite enough.

    As of equipment. The Georgian army started to receive domestic military equipment enmasse. You can say that the Georgian soldier is almost 100% made in Georgia in terms of clothing, gear etc. Just recently newly developed vests and helmets have started to be used in field during the Central Africa mission.

    Newly presented weapons is a more difficult matter. We won't have the capabilities any time soon to replace foreign weapons with our own stuff. There are some neat projects and single concepts but they are either mockups atm or not ready for mass production or have no green light because of lacking finances. But there are indeed some promising stuff like the new anti materiel rifles or the anti tank mines. Those and Soviet based but improved mortar systems and RPGs can be produced enmasse if they get the money. It's all about money. That's the only problem right now.

    When it comes to vehicles there are some promissing achievements. With all honesty I'd call the Didgori a great achievemnt in Georgia's small weapon industry. Sure it's based on a civilian chassy etc but I can truly say they knew what they were going for and the vehicle is damn fine. So far there are 4 versions in production and they are also constantly modifying.

    The Lazika is something I cannot really assess right now. I think it's both too tall and too short, also lacks armor. But that has a reason. It's development got saboutaged by NM party. Basicaly they aborted it before it was fully developed because they needed something to show for election PR. The project was so close to be abandoned completly but the new government decided to give it a chance and fix the armor issue before it can be mass produced. They also consider to simply add additional passive and reactive armor instead.

    Recently they have also unvealed a modified BRDM-2 which showed various changes from the original vehicle. I am almost certain that they will do the same with the BTRs and BMPs as prospect of aquiring Western type hardware seems unlike for the moment.

    Considering all that the MOD says all of the efforts right now are not enough to have a mobile defence force. So I guess they will also buy as much stuff as their budget allows them. Current budget is almost peanuts though.
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    TR1

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TR1 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:35 pm

    Before we discuss equipment, we need to determine what Georgia wishes to achieve.
    I think trying to cultivate a large conventional force is a waste of time for Georgia.
    When it comes to Russia, they will be equally outmatched, even more within the next decade.
    Given this, I am not sure how much it is even worth to try to go for a "we will make it painful for anyone to attack us" approach. Better idea is to court Russia and find security that way. Much more secure, and cheap approach IMO.
    So what is left? Neighboring military powers, internal factors ( not as relevant with Abkhazia and Ossetia gone), and foreign commitments (which hopefully Georgia will do less of, they are not in its interests anyways).

    Selling Su-25s makes sense. The are old, need refurbishment, and quite frankly, when are they ever going to use them in the ground attack role? Vs who? Either try for a real AF, or don't waste money half assing it.

    Getting rid of Soviet helicopter park is a dangerous move. You are losing decades of experience, both technical and personnel.

    Lazika is just a crude simple box. There is nothing surprising about it- Georgia has few specialized armor making facilities (really none), they have not put much funds into the project, and the result is obvious. Personally I don't see the point of bothering with it, they could buy second hand BMP-2s and overhaul them. If it makes jobs and is economically viable, the I guess we can consider it.

    What do you mean specifically by mobile defense force? What do you think they hope to achieve with it?
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    TheGeorgian

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:46 am

    TR1 wrote:Before we discuss equipment, we need to determine what Georgia wishes to achieve

    Nothing less but being able to defend the nation against any threats from air, land, sea.

    I think trying to cultivate a large conventional force is a waste of time for Georgia.

    Well we don't have and never had a large conventional force and that's absolutly not the aim. That's why we are going for more and more quality instead of quantity. It also would be a waste of resources.

    Given this, I am not sure how much it is even worth to try to go for a "we will make it painful for anyone to attack us" approach.

    With such an attitude, you might as well leave your country completly defenseless. That's what armies are for. Defend the nation. Political rhetorics won't keep your opponent from hanging you by the balls when you can't defend yourself properly. The total opposite. The less you care about it, the more daring and sassy your opponent becomes. Of course we are taking the "think twice before you attack approach". There is no other way. This has nothing to do with political relations. It's about the nations defence. I mean like why wouldn't you take such an approach to begin with .... ?

    Better idea is to court Russia and find security that way. Much more secure, and cheap approach IMO.

    Court ? right. Cause that's gonna save anyone if they ever attacked .... Courting them.

    Jokes aside. This would be effective if they actualy gave a ff about anyone trying to court them. They ignore it and honestly why shouldn't they ? there are virtualy no consequences ....

    So what is left? Neighboring military powers, internal factors ( not as relevant with Abkhazia and Ossetia gone), and foreign commitments (which hopefully Georgia will do less of, they are not in its interests anyways).

    Yes, let's start with neighbouring military powers. It doesn't matter if they are allied, neutral or enemies. You need to be able to defend yourself in case a war breaks out with any of them. I think that's pretty self explanatory

    actualy it is not only about joining NATO. It's also for gaining some field experience. Now pretty much every single battalion was deployed and during their deployments they did not only patrol but also trained with the USMC, French, Germans etc there. As long as it are peacekeepig missions and not actual wars, it should be fine. Like I see nothing wrong with the Central Africa mission, as long as things don't get totaly out of control and there are losses.

    Getting rid of Soviet helicopter park is a dangerous move. You are losing decades of experience, both technical and personnel.

    Ah, I see no danger there. Retraining already experienced pilots isn't something challenging. It's not like you have rookies there. They did not only train on Soviet helicopters. Besides we already use Western style helicopters and seeing pilots didn't need much retraining for the Pumas, I see no problem there. Same with the Su-25s Scorpions. Pilots had absolutly no problem accomodating with the complete overhaul of electronics and cockpits. New pilots have been trained on the modernised versions too.

    Lazika is just a crude simple box. There is nothing surprising about it- Georgia has few specialized armor making facilities (really none), they have not put much funds into the project, and the result is obvious. Personally I don't see the point of bothering with it, they could buy second hand BMP-2s and overhaul them. If it makes jobs and is economically viable, the I guess we can consider it.

    If they repair the project, it will be quite a capable modular vehicle. That's what it was originaly designed for. Sure maybe nothing too special for todays standarts but I'd prefer it over the BMP any day. That is if they convert it to the original concept. It's too bad it got saboutaged long before development was complete. Saakashvili didn't care if it worked, it just had to move.

    Anyways, they have already decided to revive and repair the project and add some modifications and variations like AA, AT, Medecav etc.

    But I agree on modifying BMPs. They will definitly do it as we allready have modified BRDM-2s. BTRs coming next probably. They should do it in any case.

    What do you mean specifically by mobile defense force? What do you think they hope to achieve with it?

    Well first of all it is important to mention that the individual soldier had total priority so far. Educaton, equipment, ensurance, not just acceptable but pretty good conditions etc .... that has been kind of achieved nowdays. It still isn't perfect but pretty motivating and inspiring. People like to joing more then ever. That is that, but an important part of it is ensuring to carry out tasks with having as much protection as possible and one goal is set on sufficient armored transport capacities. This is like what they want to achieve now since they have basicaly completed developing personal protection which is being mass produced right now. That and quickly deployable force simply.
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    George1

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  George1 on Thu May 28, 2015 12:37 pm

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    George1

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  George1 on Thu May 28, 2015 12:39 pm

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    TheGeorgian

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Thu May 28, 2015 3:25 pm

    Yeah

    I'll post a full info-section on all the things that were shown during the Independence Day, including the new helicopter. I will try my best to provide as much information as there is about them.
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    TheGeorgian

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Fri May 29, 2015 6:36 am

    Majority of photos from "The Dead District"

    http://scout-thedeaddistrict.blogspot.de/

    Small arms

    So this is the .308 ( NATO 7.62 mm ) AR-10 based sniper rifle called "DELTA Taktikal". Not much to say here. No gas piston system or whatever "improvement" visible. Unless they state something different, it has the same performance than it's original counterpart. According to the developer all single parts ( in exception of the scope ) are localy produced and assembled. More pictures on the website.





    These are the new .338 based "Satevari" series sniper rifles. Other than caliber not much information here but that the platform will undergoe trials for later service in the armed forces. Looks similar to other .338 based weapons. So the specifications shouldn't be dramaticaly different. More pictures on the website and STC DELTA FB page.







    Not new production. This is the allready known "PDSHP" series anti-material sniper rifles. There seems to have been some confusion on the caliber. The two rifles displayed here both fire the Soviet 12,7 x 108 mm rounds. Some years ago it was falsely stated that the small bolt-action version fires 14,5 x 114 mm rounds. Both do, but only if you change the barrel and that's not standart issue. There is also a 3rd version not displayed here, which also won't be used. It was a very early prototype which culminated in the long version you see here. Though, especialy the short version is reminiscent to the US M95 they are not based on any AMRs in existence. They are a result of different local designs finalized into one. More pictures on the website.



    This is the new "IAMANI" 9 x 19 mm submachine gun, 30 round magazine. Interesting and unique design, not based on any existing ones. At the first look it seems a bit bulky due to the receiver location but it actualy isn't at all as seen in the last picture. The stock can be folded. This weapon is probably best suited for law enforcement agencies. Waiting for the upcoming performance video and further details. *Pictures from STC DELTA and TDD







    heavy weapons

    Probably the most interesting weapon is the new 120 mm remote operated mortar platform, which can be either deployed or mounted on a vehicle - latter one making more sense. It has a battery attached and controls are computer linked. It obviously still needs someone to load and reload. The Didgori-3 has allready been suggested as potential candidate to carry this weapon. Alternatively the Lazika would also be considered when developmet is done.









    The second most interesting one is probably the remote controlled quad-mg station. It's armed with 4 x 7.62 x 54 mm machine guns, is equipped with a thermal / NV imaging device, pretty much the same that is mounted on the Lazika RWS. Has it's battery and control system attached. It's suggested to be considered a light vehicle mount, probably Didgoris or Pickups. Though it is unclear why they went for the 7.62 x 54 mm when there are better caliber like 12.7 x 108 mm and 14.5×114 mm. I guess it's because of availability. There might not be enough NSV hmg's to provide that possibility and most ZPU's have been dicommisioned almost a decade ago.





    Strangely enough this weapon station operates with a 12.7 x 108 mm NSV machine gun. It has a batch of six 107 mm unguided rockets as demonstrational placeholders. Is also remote controlled and considered both vehicle mount as well as stationary defence platform. The placeholder spot is primarily reserved for manpads such as Igla and Strela. No information if ATGMs are considered.



    Personal Protection

    DH-MK-3 ballistic tactical helmet for special operation forces. It can absorb 9 mm to 7,62X25 mm TT rounds from several meters away to point blank without causing visible head injuries, concussions may be the case. Tests were conducted primarily on dummies which were weaker than a human being. Nothing really new here. The armour mixture is classified and demonstration videos have shown it keeps it's promises. The DH-MK series ballistic helmets have allread been field tested by the Georgian contingent that was deployed in Central Africa. It is currently being evaluated and introduced.





    MK-1 future standart issue ballistic vest for both police and military forces alongside the MK-2 which was also used during the recent Africa peacekeeping mission. The croch piece is in fact armoured as well which was unclear untill now. Additional features, small shoulder pads and neck-guard added.







    Last edited by TheGeorgian on Fri May 29, 2015 7:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Werewolf

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  Werewolf on Fri May 29, 2015 4:12 pm

    The 120mm RWS mortar is interesting, they should add a magazine and if that is not possible maybe a slightly smaller calibre could achieve better performance of rapid fire to cover enemy troops instead of one missfired round alerting enemy to take cover and taking 20 seconds for another round to land somewhere. Rapid fire for small mortars is quite important to be effective.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Fri May 29, 2015 7:39 pm

    Werewolf wrote:The 120mm RWS mortar is interesting, they should add a magazine and if that is not possible maybe a slightly smaller calibre could achieve better performance of rapid fire to cover enemy troops instead of one missfired round alerting enemy to take cover and taking 20 seconds for another round to land somewhere. Rapid fire for small mortars is quite important to be effective.

    A magazine as to auto-loader or what exactly do you mean ? This is like one of these common RWS systems that still require a crew of at least 1 man to operate the loading process while everything else is done automaticaly. Who knows, maybe they have considered creating something similar to those new fully autonomous mortar systems. However I think that would be a bit more expensive to develope and it would operate slower.

    I am sure they have considered smaller variants. I don't think fire support will be a problem though when you deploy an entire battery.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  Werewolf on Fri May 29, 2015 8:20 pm

    I mean a magazine feeding system so it has a 3-4 rounds ready to fire magazine for rapid fire similiar to the russian Vasilek 2B9 82mm Mortar which has 4 round magazines for automatic fire.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Fri May 29, 2015 9:08 pm

    Werewolf wrote:I mean a magazine feeding system so it has a 3-4 rounds ready to fire magazine for rapid fire similiar to the russian Vasilek 2B9 82mm Mortar which has 4 round magazines for automatic fire.

    Aah I see, yeah I remember. Allways liked the 2B9 for that feature. Wonder why nobody takes something like that into consideration. Yeah would require smaller caliber though. 120 might get messy.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  flamming_python on Fri May 29, 2015 10:41 pm

    TheGeorgian wrote:So this is the .308 ( NATO 7.62 mm ) AR-10 based sniper rifle called "DELTA Taktikal". Not much to say here. No gas piston system or whatever "improvement" visible. Unless they state something different, it has the same performance than it's original counterpart. According to the developer all single parts ( in exception of the scope ) are localy produced and assembled. More pictures on the website.


    Ought to be a good, cheap weapon if it really achieves the same performance as the AR-10 and can be produced entirely with local parts.

    Not new production. This is the allready known "PDSHP" series anti-material sniper rifles. There seems to have been some confusion on the caliber. The two rifles displayed here both fire the Soviet 12,7 x 108 mm rounds. Some years ago it was falsely stated that the small bolt-action version fires 14,5 x 114 mm rounds. Both do, but only if you change the barrel and that's not standart issue. There is also a 3rd version not displayed here, which also won't be used. It was a very early prototype which culminated in the long version you see here. Though, especialy the short version is reminiscent to the US M95 they are not based on any AMRs in existence. They are a result of different local designs finalized into one. More pictures on the website.


    What I like about these ones (aside from their sleek looks) is that they look to be pretty compact; for anti-material sniper rifles.

    The silenced model reminds me of the Russian VSSK
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VKS_sniper_rifle

    This is the new "IAMANI" 9 x 19 mm submachine gun, 30 round magazine. Interesting and unique design, not based on any existing ones. At the first look it seems a bit bulky due to the receiver location but it actualy isn't at all as seen in the last picture. The stock can be folded. This weapon is probably best suited for law enforcement agencies. Waiting for the upcoming performance video and further details. *Pictures from STC DELTA and TDD


    I like the look!
    The future is now; looks like a weapon I'd expect to find in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
    About its combat characteristics I can only guess though.

    Probably the most interesting weapon is the new 120 mm remote operated mortar platform, which can be either deployed or mounted on a vehicle - latter one making more sense. It has a battery attached and controls are computer linked. It obviously still needs someone to load and reload. The Didgori-3 has allready been suggested as potential candidate to carry this weapon. Alternatively the Lazika would also be considered when developmet is done.


    Looks heavy as heck, but an interesting idea.
    As others have mentioned - shame there is no magazine for the ammo; this would have enabled autoloading and full-automation.

    As it is, it occupies a dubious middle ground; it has the extra weight, expense and complexity of an automated system - but it still requires a crew present to operate.

    Firing it from a vehicle is a good idea, but again the same problem - it needs an autoloader in that case. There are many 120mm vehicle-based mortars with automatic reloading.

    If they can further develop this mortar though - it would be great; as then the automation can be fully self-contained and they can attach such a unit to any vehicle - to make it a mortar vehicle; or for setting up a battery in a location but with the actual operators and artillerymen safely behind cover.

    The second most interesting one is probably the remote controlled quad-mg station. It's armed with 4 x 7.62 x 54 mm machine guns, is equipped with a thermal / NV imaging device, pretty much the same that is mounted on the Lazika RWS. Has it's battery and control system attached. It's suggested to be considered a light vehicle mount, probably Didgoris or Pickups. Though it is unclear why they went for the 7.62 x 54 mm when there are better caliber like 12.7 x 108 mm and 14.5×114 mm. I guess it's because of availability. There might not be enough NSV hmg's to provide that possibility and most ZPU's have been dicommisioned almost a decade ago.



    This one looks like a big lemon.
    The 7.62mm's aren't going to cut it for any sort of anti-air role; while for the ground role there are basically few targets, for which 4 x 7.62mm machine guns are going to do better, than a couple or even just one heavy machine gun instead.
    It doesn't really have the range for good suppressive fire, and the recoil from all 4 MGs firing (and the mount doesn't look sophisticated enough to be able to counteract this much) would render it inaccurate.
    No automated feed mechanisms here or any bells and whistles that the mount could have taken advantage of either.

    You won't fit it into the bed of a pickup, but the nearly 70-year old ZPU-4 is really better for every single possible use compared to this thing.

    Strangely enough this weapon station operates with a 12.7 x 108 mm NSV machine gun. It has a batch of six 107 mm unguided rockets as demonstrational placeholders. Is also remote controlled and considered both vehicle mount as well as stationary defence platform. The placeholder spot is primarily reserved for manpads such as Igla and Strela. No information if ATGMs are considered.


    This one is more than crappy.

    6 x 107mm unguided rockets? What the hell for? What are you going to target with them? Is this an artillery mount? If its fire-support against soft-targets that's needed, than a nearby grenadier with an RPG, or perhaps an attached thermobaric-RPG mount would make more sense. Or an attached grenade-launcher.

    I'm not sure about the whole idea of combining weapon types either on installations. It makes sense on vehicle turrets; which need to economize space and can also provide protection for their gunners.

    However, it makes less sense for gunners out in the open. Why not space out your AA, AT and AP capabilties, instead of bunching them into one mount?
    Why not allow your ATGM-operators to deploy behind concealment and cover, covering your machine-gunners; instead of combining the machine-gun and ATGM role into one unit?

    MK-1 future standart issue ballistic vest for both police and military forces alongside the MK-2 which was also used during the recent Africa peacekeeping mission. The croch piece is in fact armoured as well which was unclear untill now. Additional features, small shoulder pads and neck-guard added.


    It's got a Western-sounding name, but a Russian-style design - it looks a lot like the 6B43 and OPERATOR-3 vests.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sat May 30, 2015 12:41 am

    flamming_python wrote:There are many 120mm vehicle-based mortars with automatic reloading.

    Actualy not that much, at least not that I'm aware of. There are very few and those are over-complex pieces which rather prove that you're better off having a crew untill that concept is fit for field deployment. So far they only an obstacle. Most existing mortar systems that use automated controls are still operated by up to 2 soldiers ( loading process you notice ). Choose wichever you want. Plus really, even among those many concepts are unnessecary over-complex in their configuration.

    If they can further develop this mortar though - it would be great; as then the automation can be fully self-contained and they can attach such a unit to any vehicle - to make it a mortar vehicle; or for setting up a battery in a location but with the actual operators and artillerymen safely behind cover.

    I agree though I think it really depends on how fast you wanna deploy your assets. Seeing how other developers mount their 120 mm RWS mortars on Humvees and FAVs etc, I really see no problem having it mounted on the back of the Didgori-3 for example. But yeah, the Lazika was the original concept for a unviersal combat platform able to carry heavy mortars. Let's see if this project goes somewhere. The more protection, the better.

    This one looks like a big lemon.
    The 7.62mm's aren't going to cut it for any sort of anti-air role; while for the ground role there are basically few targets, for which 4 x 7.62mm machine guns are going to do better, than a couple or even just one heavy machine gun instead.
    It doesn't really have the range for good suppressive fire, and the recoil from all 4 MGs firing (and the mount doesn't look sophisticated enough to be able to counteract this much) would render it inaccurate.
    No automated feed mechanisms here or any bells and whistles that the mount could have taken advantage of either.

    I also consider this a waste of resources and material to be very honest. They should have taken what ZPUs were left and upgraded and turned them into RWS instead.

    This one is more than crappy.

    6 x 107mm unguided rockets? What the hell for? What are you going to target with them? Is this an artillery mount? If its fire-support against soft-targets that's needed, than a nearby grenadier with an RPG, or perhaps an attached thermobaric-RPG mount would make more sense. Or an attached grenade-launcher.

    I'm not sure about the whole idea of combining weapon types either on installations. It makes sense on vehicle turrets; which need to economize space and can also provide protection for their gunners.

    However, it makes less sense for gunners out in the open. Why not space out your AA, AT and AP capabilties, instead of bunching them into one mount?
    Why not allow your ATGM-operators to deploy behind concealment and cover, covering your machine-gunners; instead of combining the machine-gun and ATGM role into one unit?

    Like I've said. The 107 mm rocket pods are just placeholders. Anything can be mounted on that side. It was originaly considered to be a light AA mount, Strela or Igla manpads, presumably 4 tubes.

    Well the answer is simple. DELTA just shows off it's capabilities with electronics etc. In the end they only do what the military will ask them to. I think the combined MG-AA mount isn't a bad idea at all, if it's going to be mounted on a vehicle. It definitly is more worth of investment than that quad gun.

    Why not much focus on ATGM*s ? well, there isn't a sufficient amount of them. The AT battalions need those weapons. The mechanised units need those weapons. Every single battalion has those weapons. So there isn't really much left there to experiment on and waste.

    It's got a Western-sounding name, but a Russian-style design - it looks a lot like the 6B43 and OPERATOR-3 vests.

    Yeah. Only I like the longer shoulder pads on the 6B43. But well, it's all about the actual ballistic material right.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  flamming_python on Sun May 31, 2015 12:59 am

    TheGeorgian wrote:
    flamming_python wrote:There are many 120mm vehicle-based mortars with automatic reloading.

    Actualy not that much, at least not that I'm aware of. There are very few and those are over-complex pieces which rather prove that you're better off having a crew untill that concept is fit for field deployment. So far they only an obstacle. Most existing mortar systems that use automated controls are still operated by up to 2 soldiers ( loading process you notice ). Choose wichever you want. Plus really, even among those many concepts are unnessecary over-complex in their configuration.

    What do you think the Nona-S, Nona-SVK and Vena vehicles are? They are all self-propelled 120mm mortar vehicles; nothing too complex about them at all.

    I'm sure other militaries have similar vehicles.

    The problem as I mentioned; is that all such mortar systems are integrated into their vehicles. There's no automatic mortar I've heard of that you can simply attach to any vehicle that can pull the weight; in order to instantly make a self-propelled mortar vehicle out of it.
    If someone succeeds in making something like that - could be pretty interesting and very versatile.

    Like I've said. The 107 mm rocket pods are just placeholders. Anything can be mounted on that side. It was originaly considered to be a light AA mount, Strela or Igla manpads, presumably 4 tubes.

    Well the answer is simple. DELTA just shows off it's capabilities with electronics etc. In the end they only do what the military will ask them to. I think the combined MG-AA mount isn't a bad idea at all, if it's going to be mounted on a vehicle. It definitly is more worth of investment than that quad gun.

    Well if it's used a mount for light-vehicles than I agree, an integrated MG + MANPAD or MG + AT system might not be so bad and could afford some versatility at a cheap price.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sun May 31, 2015 3:47 pm

    flamming_python wrote:
    What do you think the Nona-S, Nona-SVK and Vena vehicles are? They are all self-propelled 120mm mortar vehicles; nothing too complex about them at all.
    I'm sure other militaries have similar vehicles.

    Yeah .... but, let's be honest, those are almost canons. Only the effective firing range reminds me of a mortar system. But I see where you're coming from.

    The problem as I mentioned; is that all such mortar systems are integrated into their vehicles. There's no automatic mortar I've heard of that you can simply attach to any vehicle that can pull the weight; in order to instantly make a self-propelled mortar vehicle out of it.
    If someone succeeds in making something like that - could be pretty interesting and very versatile.

    At least not the quick field change. I could only think of an universal combat carrier systems like the Armata. Where the hull remains the same but you'd simply replace the whole turret station without changing anything else, A mortar with ammo compartment would fit perfectly fine. You'd remove the gun turret and simply insert mortar station. But that would require an entire plant of course .... and the process must be so simplified that it will take less than half an hour to perform such a station change.

    Well if it's used a mount for light-vehicles than I agree, an integrated MG + MANPAD or MG + AT system might not be so bad and could afford some versatility at a cheap price.

    Seeing how even a Dzhigit launcher can be mounted on a technical I could see this easily being mounted on a pickup tbh.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sun May 31, 2015 6:36 pm

    Let's get to the vehicles

    This is the upgraded BRDM-2 that was unvealed last year. There are lots of changes as you can see. The bottom hull has been angled towards the inside, amphibious capability has been removed, as well as rear door. Instead two side doors have been added and an additional top hatch for emergency exit and access to the RWS. Two additional side windows with shutters which can be opened or closed from the inside have also been added while the driver and gunner periscopes got removed. Smoke-grenade dischargers were also added on each side. Just like on the Lazika the RWS is a 23 mm 2A14 autocannon ( 100 rounds ) mount with a 7.62mm PKT machine gun ( 500 rounds ). In addition the front armour is much thicker than on the original. The operational range is 500 km, max 160 hp and besides the 2 men crew it can accomodate 4 fully armed and equipped military personnel. On top of the front hull there's a day / night imaging device mounted, primarily for the driver. The RWS has it's own multi-imaging device for the gunner.

    So two interesting sacrifices were made and lots of improvements added. Significantly more firepower, slightly better protection, better electronics and view possibilities, the RWS alone allows very good zooming, range calculation and observation options. Think this is why they removed the older persiscopes. Though the driver camera seems to be fixed and they could have kept some periscopes. They sacrificed the amphibious capability, probably because of troop compartment issues ? plus there really isn't much impassable rivers, lakes etc in Georgia or any potential need for naval deployment. Anyway those are the two reasons I can think of now.

    My only real complaint about this vehicle is that the electronics are way too exposed. They should put some framework around it and stuff the wires in some sort of protection.











    This is the new Command & Communications vehicle, obviously based on the Didgori-1. Troop compartment has been replaced for US Harris electronic assets. A RF-7800B SATCOM system mounted on the top. The vehicle looks a bit lighter and has some deisgn alterations in order to be faster and for it's role. Has a multi-imaging cameras attached. Battalion and Brigade level communication unit, that will quickly transfer orders from HQ to single units. 5 man crew.







    Armoured Medevac also based on the Didgori-1. Slightly different front design. Offers room for 4 injured personnel and one doctor. Max 356 hp for 74,5 mph on any terrain and weather condition, turbo-diesel-V8 motor. Offers all-round protection including windows in accordance to Stanag EN1063 B7 + ( against 7.62 mm, shrapnel etc ). Additional armour panels and protection layers dampen impact damage from structures and natural obstacles. Has a camera attached to the front and the rear.







    This is the vehicle that is currently undergoing the Saudi Arabia tender. It got to the finals togheter wih a US vehicle after eliminating a Polish and five other US vehicles in the contest. It is a demonstrational vehicle to show the Didgori's capabilities in desert environment to become a potential medevac unit for the Saudi armed forces. So far finals are apparently still ongoing. However I doubt that the US will allow itself loosing that contest. Wink Too bad for us.



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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  flamming_python on Sun May 31, 2015 10:28 pm

    TheGeorgian wrote:Let's get to the vehicles

    This is the upgraded BRDM-2 that was unvealed last year. There are lots of changes as you can see. The bottom hull has been angled towards the inside, amphibious capability has been removed, as well as rear door. Instead two side doors have been added and an additional top hatch for emergency exit and access to the RWS. Two additional side windows with shutters which can be opened or closed from the inside have also been added while the driver and gunner periscopes got removed. Smoke-grenade dischargers were also added on each side. Just like on the Lazika the RWS is a 23 mm 2A14 autocannon ( 100 rounds ) mount with a 7.62mm PKT machine gun ( 500 rounds ). In addition the front armour is much thicker than on the original. The operational range is 500 km, max 160 hp and besides the 2 men crew it can accomodate 4 fully armed and equipped military personnel. On top of the front hull there's a day / night imaging device mounted, primarily for the driver. The RWS has it's own multi-imaging device for the gunner.

    So two interesting sacrifices were made and lots of improvements added. Significantly more firepower, slightly better protection, better electronics and view possibilities, the RWS alone allows very good zooming, range calculation and observation options. Think this is why they removed the older persiscopes. Though the driver camera seems to be fixed and they could have kept some periscopes. They sacrificed the amphibious capability, probably because of troop compartment issues ? plus there really isn't much impassable rivers, lakes etc in Georgia or any potential need for naval deployment. Anyway those are the two reasons I can think of now.

    My only real complaint about this vehicle is that the electronics are way too exposed. They should put some framework around it and stuff the wires in some sort of protection.


    I like what they've done with it.
    Electronics and cameras have advanced to the point where individual periscopes might not be as neccessary; the driver has the imaging devices plus can see whatever the gunner sees from his monitor too.
    The amphibious capability loss is a shame but as you mentioned, for Georgian scout vehicles in Georgian terrain it's probably not particularly important.
    The firepower improvement is a nice extra, and the armour reinforcement is a must for scout vehicles in this day and age.

    In general, it's good to see that they've went with such an extensive conversion on old Soviet-era vehicles and ended up with exactly what they need; therefore sparing themselves the expense of procuring new vehicles and spare parts/training.

    This is the new Command & Communications vehicle, obviously based on the Didgori-1. Troop compartment has been replaced for US Harris electronic assets. A RF-7800B SATCOM system mounted on the top. The vehicle looks a bit lighter and has some deisgn alterations in order to be faster and for it's role. Has a multi-imaging cameras attached. Battalion and Brigade level communication unit, that will quickly transfer orders from HQ to single units. 5 man crew.



    Armoured Medevac also based on the Didgori-1. Slightly different front design. Offers room for 4 injured personnel and one doctor. Max 356 hp for 74,5 mph on any terrain and weather condition, turbo-diesel-V8 motor. Offers all-round protection including windows in accordance to Stanag EN1063 B7 + ( against 7.62 mm, shrapnel etc ). Additional armour panels and protection layers dampen impact damage from structures and natural obstacles. Has a camera attached to the front and the rear.


    Making a family of vehicles based on this chassis is probably a good idea too.

    This is the vehicle that is currently undergoing the Saudi Arabia tender. It got to the finals togheter wih a US vehicle after eliminating a Polish and five other US vehicles in the contest. It is a demonstrational vehicle to show the Didgori's capabilities in desert environment to become a potential medevac unit for the Saudi armed forces. So far finals are apparently still ongoing. However I doubt that the US will allow itself loosing that contest. Wink Too bad for us.


    Well you never know, stranger things have happened in recent times than Georgia winning a Saudi tender for medevacs.
    For example - Saakashvill getting appointed as governor of Odessa.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sun May 31, 2015 11:43 pm

    flamming_python wrote:
    I like what they've done with it.
    Electronics and cameras have advanced to the point where individual periscopes might not be as neccessary; the driver has the imaging devices plus can see whatever the gunner sees from his monitor too.
    The amphibious capability loss is a shame but as you mentioned, for Georgian scout vehicles in Georgian terrain it's probably not particularly important.
    The firepower improvement is a nice extra, and the armour reinforcement is a must for scout vehicles in this day and age.

    In general, it's good to see that they've went with such an extensive conversion on old Soviet-era vehicles and ended up with exactly what they need; therefore sparing themselves the expense of procuring new vehicles and spare parts/training.

    Yeah exactly. I really hope they not gonna end there and just continue with the BTRs. That would be awesome. There ain't any perspective for new hardware anytime soon. At least not combat vehicles.

    I forgot. There is another, yet very curious feature on that BRDM modification.

    On the hull front, just over that little hatch there is an "extendable knife" attached, which is to cut barbed wires or ropes.

    I've got no idea how this is supposed to work though



    Well you never know, stranger things have happened in recent times than Georgia winning a Saudi tender for medevacs.
    For example - Saakashvill getting appointed as governor of Odessa.

    Pretty sure, the US will buy that win.

    Well, apparently Poroshenko is keen in loosing even more than is allready lost .... and as quickly as possible on top of it. I don't judge the people who live there and fight and also not the ones who go there and fight thinking it is the right thing to do. A lot of Georgians are seasoned veterans or former police who help Ukraine raising and training it's special forces. There's lots of personal agenda going on there and I refrain from judging anyone because it's not my business. It's theirs. Yes the gov demands to abstain from such activities but like in every country you can't stop something like that, no matter how well you control it. However I am aware that among those who fight in Ukraine are a lot of Saakashvili's followers and that man is doing nothing but causing trouble and damaging our country's image. Ukraine has ignored all demands from the Georgian goverment to hand over Saakashvili and his criminal followers on which a nation wide search was declared years ago. They chose one man ... a criminal .... over an entire allied nation instead, and installed him as governor. Bravo. Tells how much the people have to say in Ukraine. The majority doesn't like that man, nor any of his minions. He tries to make people outside of Georgia believe he is still in there, an authority or someone. Tries discrediting the Georgian goverment and he and his followers try to undermine any political efforts from Georgia, be it pro-West or pro-East as much as they can in order to saboutage the country.. He is also not the only one from his party. Ekaterine Zguladze Georgia's former MIA is also Deputy MIA of Ukraine now. A lot of the Nationals are also supporting the right wing formations. But Saakashvili'S appointment did also hugely backfire on him in Georgia. He threw away his citizenship in order to save his ass by becoming an Ukrainian. At least that's what he is trying. Won't help him if the search gets extended by adding him on Interpol's red list ....
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:17 am

    The "knife" is a common NATO tactical feature. You roll on a garrote-type wire laid accross the road until it is stuck on your sharp edge/hook and it snaps from pressure. Garrote-wires are simple and easy ways to take out roof gunner nowadays that top down vehicles have become a rarity.

    Then


    Some decades later...






    What I don't get though is why go with the more expensive F-type rolling train while Georgia is good terms with Israel and could have had the IAI RAM underpinings. Especially since they have experience with the BRDM.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  TheGeorgian on Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:04 am

    KoTeMoRe wrote:The "knife" is a common NATO tactical feature. You roll on a garrote-type wire laid accross the road until it is stuck on your sharp edge/hook and it snaps from pressure. Garrote-wires are simple and easy ways to take out roof gunner nowadays that top down vehicles have become a rarity.

    Then

    Some decades later...

    What I don't get though is why go with the more expensive F-type rolling train while Georgia is good terms with Israel and could have had the IAI RAM underpinings. Especially since they have experience with the BRDM.

    Interesting. I was aware that garrot-type wires were often used to decapitate Willy's crews and even tank crews but didn't know about these wire cutters.

    Cute little feature. You'd think such tactics are obsolete nowdays eh.

    They wouldn't have chosen a particular type of chassy, be it F-type or whatever, if it wasn't exactly what they wanted, a suitable and proven platform. So far the Didgori could only impress, be it on local terrain or somewhere in the Arabian Desert, driving 800km through hot sand without issues and recovering a broken down US counterpart on the way. They also just aquire the chassies not the full product.

    After the drone affair and other controversies Georgia has become very cautious with purchising Israeli equipment. It's only limited to small arms nowdays, despite having no kind of imposed limiations in effect. If anything, Georgia will now aquire equipment from Western Europe, probably France. At least the new MOD stated she would sign the agreement very soon.
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  flamming_python on Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:37 am

    Can you enlighten us about the drone affair?

    It brings to mind a very vague memory but I wasn't aware there was any distrust of Israeli weaponry (other than that Israel refused to sell certain weapons to Georgia following the August war for fear of upsetting Russia)
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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:06 pm

    flamming_python wrote:Can you enlighten us about the drone affair?

    It brings to mind a very vague memory but I wasn't aware there was any distrust of Israeli weaponry (other than that Israel refused to sell certain weapons to Georgia following the August war for fear of upsetting Russia)
    Rumor had it that Big Iz was in talks with Rasha before August for the Searchers an in order to not upset Rasha Iz stopped the service program towards Gruzia. Some even say Bit Iz disclosed encryption to Mordor prior to war enabling Rasha to track and backdoor the few Hermes Georgians had. Tier One cravate eater Saaka Said so. And accord ing to Wikileaks it is true.

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    Re: Georgia Μilitary: News and Modernisation

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