Georgia has signed a new contract for the purchase of air defense systems in France
As Georgian Minister of Defense Levan Izoria reported on his page on www.facebook.com, on December 8, 2018, during his visit to France, the Georgian side signed a contract with the French group Thales for the supply of "air defense command and control systems", which means transition of Georgia and France to the second stage of cooperation in the field of air defense ". No contract details are given. The Georgian Defense Minister also said that in the future, the implementation of the contract will provide an opportunity to integrate the Georgian air defense system into the NATO integrated air defense system.
From the side of bmpd, we recall that the "first stage" of cooperation between Georgia and France in the field of air defense was the package of contracts concluded by the Georgian Ministry of Defense on June 15, 2015 in France, with a total value of more than 100 million euros for the purchase of air defense assets. One contract worth € 56.131369 million with ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS, a joint venture between the American corporation Raytheon and the French group Thales) provided Georgia with one mobile early warning radar Ground Target GM 403 and two mobile radar of medium range TAD detection, and also mobile command posts of air defense of production of Thales group. The second contract worth more than 50 million euros with the MBDA European missile association provided for the supply of self-propelled short-range Mistral ATLAS anti-aircraft missile systems to the chassis of the French Arquus ACMAT VLRA vehicles using the Mistral portable anti-aircraft missile system.
At the same time, the implementation of these contracts was delayed for political and financial reasons, and only in 2017 the French leadership gave final permission to implement them, with the result that the French bank Societe General issued a loan of about 100 million euros to Georgia to finance contracts. Sanction on the shipment of equipment was given by Paris only in the beginning of 2018.
The Ground Master GM403 radar received by Georgia was first demonstrated on May 26, 2018 at an arms exhibition on Freedom Square in Tbilisi in connection with the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of independence of Georgia, and the Ground Master GM200 radar and command and control center of air defense were first demonstrated at the Alekseevka Georgian air base near Tbilisi May 31, 2018. The equipment supplied under this contract is made on the Renault Truck Defense (Arquus) type K chassis with an 8x8 wheel formula. October 1, 2018. in Alekseyevka, for the first time, MBDA Mistral ATLAS received by Georgia from France air defense missile systems were demonstrated by Georgia.
As far as can be understood from the Georgian reports, the contract is now concluded with the Thales group for the acquisition of an air defense command and control system, and possibly additional radars, and the purchase of new fire weapons is not envisaged.