If even Russia - one of the leading countries in the arms market - is often accused of using more Soviet developments, then what about Georgia? Indeed, almost all elements of the Georgian defense industry went to Tbilisi due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. And even then, Georgia received not so many enterprises. The most famous is Tbilisi aviation plant. Another large enterprise passed to Georgia only in 2005. This is the 142nd tank repair plant. The other 26 organizations that were engaged in the Soviet defense industry and are located on the territory of Georgia represent the classic “subcontractors”. These were enterprises and research institutes that were not able to independently produce weapons and equipment in any acceptable quantity. In addition, there is the Kutaisi Automobile Plant, which has been pinned great hopes on for several years. Previously, he tried to participate in competitions on the creation of tracked and wheeled chassis for military needs, but did not achieve any success in this. Separately, it is worth noting that in Soviet times, the products of Georgian enterprises did not enjoy special respect. So, often “users” complained about the poor build quality of the aircraft, and Colchis trucks earned a very bad reputation several decades ago.
Having gained independence, Georgia received a lot of problems of a territorial and military nature. Attempts by Abkhazia and South Ossetia to become independent states demanded that Tbilisi take any steps towards improving its military potential. To buy weapons abroad did not allow the economic situation in the country. The solution seemed simple - to organize their production. For this purpose, the Delta SEC was created in 1993 year. At first, Delta needed to set up production of relatively simple rifle and artillery types of weapons. This fact at one time became the cause of one popular version, which stated that the mobilization documentation left over from the USSR helped to develop Georgia’s own production. The fact is that in the Union all defense enterprises had a certain package of technical documents that could ensure the rapid deployment of military-made products. Apparently, Georgia took advantage of these documents.
In favor of the version of the mobilization documentation, the fact that in the middle of the 90-x "Delta" presented a whole family of 82-millimeter, 120-mm and 60-mm mortars. As is known from open sources, the relevant papers for these types of weapons remained in Georgia after the collapse of the USSR. It should be noted that the Georgians did not manage to start large-scale mass production of these mortars. Several small batches of 82-mm “lightweight” mortar were produced. It was suspiciously similar to the Soviet 2B14 “Tray”, although it differed in its shorter trunk. Shortly after stories With the new-old mortars in the "Delta" developed 60-mm silent type of the same class. At one time it was advertised a lot, but this topic did not receive any development. Similarly, most of the projects in the field of small arms have ended. Over the years, the Georgians tried to launch the Iveria submachine gun, which strongly resembled the PPS of the 1943 model of the year. Another Georgian draft submachine gun goes back to the machine gun AKS-74U. Other models of small arms of their own (?) Development were repeatedly demonstrated. Anyway, none of them could not reach a large series. The Georgian defense industry copes better with less sophisticated products - ammunition, hand grenades, mortar mines, etc. are produced.
Also in Georgia, tried to continue the production of aircraft. Shortly before the collapse of the USSR, the Tbilisi Aviation Plant began to create a reserve for the production of modernized Su-25T attack aircraft. In addition, the original Su-25 were already sufficiently mastered. However, the overwhelming majority of components and assemblies arrived at the TAZ from enterprises located throughout the Soviet Union. The available stock of components did not allow to continue the production of aircraft in the required quantity. I had to seek help on the side. In 2001, a prototype of the Su-25KM Scorpion was assembled. The first Georgian modernization "Rook" was carried out in conjunction with the Israeli company Elbit Systems. We also managed to make a training version of the attack aircraft with the name Su-25U on our own. However, the total number of Su-25 produced before the “War of Three Eights” does not exceed three dozen. About a fifth of them were sold for export, while the rest remained in Georgia.
The lack of normal domestic production of weapons and military equipment at one time was one of the reasons that Tbilisi began to massively purchase equipment abroad. As for their own enterprises, they mainly engaged in the repair and modernization of existing equipment. For example, the 142nd tank repair plant has been carrying out repairs together with the same Elbit Systems since 2007 tanks T-72 with simultaneous re-equipment in accordance with the project T-72-SIM-I. The new tank electronics comes from Israel.
However, after the events of August 2008, Georgia in fact found itself in an embargo. Despite the absence of real documents on this subject, the overwhelming majority of countries and arms manufacturers refused to cooperate further with Tbilisi. The lack of any prospects for new supplies, combined with heavy losses in equipment during the war itself, forced the Georgian leadership to return to the development of its own defense industry. And the development of their own. All this was expressed in two main ways of development. First, all the money that was previously planned to be given to foreign firms for new weapons was redirected to their enterprises. Secondly, the entire defense industry of Georgia was significantly changed. Thus, Delta SEC in 2010, in fact, became the leading defense enterprise of the whole country. The Delta was directly subordinated to the Tbilisi Aviation Plant, the Tbilisi Tank Repair Plant, the Kutaisi Machine-Building Plant, as well as a number of defense research institutes.
The first year of the existence of the new system was not marked by any achievements. It is understandable - first it was necessary to debug communications and carry out a number of works. But at the end of May 2011, the Didgori armored cars were presented for the first time. For some unknown reason, Georgians call these armored vehicles armored personnel carriers. A little later it became known that before May-month 30 of such machines was released. It should be noted that the Didgori armored cars are not fully Georgian designs. So, the chassis of cars represents the corresponding part of Ford F-series cars, and almost all electronics, including the system of remote control of the weapon, most likely, has the Israeli origin. The situation with armament is similar. Different versions of Didgori are equipped with Soviet-developed NSV-12,7 machine guns and American M134. It turns out that the Georgian in "Didgori" only body. According to available information, it has a second-level protection for the standard STANAG 4569. As a trial balloon, Didgori armored cars look like quite a good design. However, the use of imported chassis and weapons can significantly spoil the whole impression. What is called, in the aggregate of parameters, the “Didgori” looks like a typical representative of the class of armored vehicles that are collected from poverty in many third world countries.
In February, 2012, it became aware of the completion of the development of an infantry fighting vehicle Lazika. And again, the new machine has the characteristic "old" features. In "Lazike" immediately identified the revised BMP-1 or BMP-2 of the Soviet production. Joking-mocking discussions began again, while the Georgian leadership, meanwhile, spoke of its plans for the mass production of the BMP and of a certain foreign customer. It was mentioned that this “someone” was not only acquainted with Lazika, but also expressed interest in her. Judging by the existing characteristics of the new combat vehicle, it is unlikely to be any large and developed country. If a potential customer exists, then, most likely, it is a small third world country that needs to replace the old equipment with a new one.
A little later, Delta SEC presented a "new multiple launch rocket system". And again, as before, in the guise of a new technology, something familiar could be seen. An 6322-barreled MLRS BM-40 “Grad” was installed on an armored KrAZ-21 with an extended cabin. Given the age of the original "components", one can imagine the combat prospects of such a system. However, the Georgian side insists on the modernity of its development and adds, as an argument, the firing range to 40 kilometers. The general condition of the Georgian military-industrial complex was the reason for assumptions about the foreign origin of missiles. Turkey is considered a “suspect”.
An even more interesting story came out in April of this year. 10 numbers in the Delta SEC arrived M. Saakashvili. He was invited to test the new unmanned aerial vehicle. According to its characteristics it is the most ordinary lightweight UAV, designed for reconnaissance and similar tasks. The lack of outstanding performance of the device did not prevent the Georgian president to declare his superiority over foreign counterparts, including Russian ones. Russian officials did not respond to these words. But the general public once again carried out an “identification” and recognized the well-known UAV SWAN-205 produced by the Estonian company Eli Military Simulation in the new Georgian design. As it turned out later, the production of it at the Georgian plant is only a consequence of the purchase of a license for manufacturing. Perhaps Georgian engineers will thoroughly examine the purchased SWAN-205 and make something of their own based on it. But this business is not today and, most likely, not even tomorrow. Meanwhile, Saakashvili calls the licensed equipment completely own and unparalleled. Interestingly, the SWAN-205 unmanned aerial vehicle was first introduced back in the 2006 year. Then this UAV participated in the competition of the Estonian Ministry of Defense. As a result, the device, developed in Eli Military Simulation, could not win. According to the information available, the Estonian military was not satisfied with the fact that SWAN-205 did not correspond to all points of the technical task of the competition.
The next day after the "incident" with the drone, the President of Georgia again visited the STC "Delta". This time he was shown infantry weapons. These were 82mm and 120mm mortars, Georgian copies of Russian / Soviet grenade launchers and RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher, as well as a number of ammunition for all these types of weapons. Saakashvili again could not refrain from loud statements and began to talk about the start of production of his own anti-tank weapons. Judging by what he saw, he was referring to the RPG-7 grenade launchers. Of course, this tool is actively used all over the world, especially in the Arab countries, but it is unlikely that the RPG-7 rocket launcher can be called a completely modern system. And the replacement of wooden parts with polyamide ones does not solve anything here. Except that the grenade launcher began to look a little more fashionable. Only enemy tankers absolutely do not care what parts are on the grenade launcher. Also on April 11, a certain automatic rifle was demonstrated. Outwardly, it strongly resembles the German Heckler & Koch HK416. However, no information was provided about her. Apparently, Georgia is trying to negotiate another production license.
As we can see, the current statements by the President of Georgia on the superiority of Georgian defense products over their foreign counterparts are nothing more than the embodiment of the proverb about sandpiper and swamp. Nevertheless, Saakashvili is currently doing everything possible to raise the defense industry of his country. For now, one cannot make confident assumptions about the prospects for the development of Georgian defense. At the same time, taking into account the material and technical base of Georgia, raw material resources, the economic situation, etc. You can lead the appropriate reasoning. It is unlikely that in the next 5-10 years, Georgia will be able to become the leading country in the region in military terms. Most likely, during this period she will only have time to increase her defense potential and master the necessary technologies. Approximately at the same time, the emergence of the first types of weapons, truly independent development, should be attributed. Obviously, this will not be, for example, aircraft technology, but the release of its own small arms, even if not capable of competing with foreign ones, clearly does not hurt the entire industry. So Georgia is fully capable of building a defense industry complex suitable for the tasks facing the country. The main thing is not to get involved in the praise of our own products and pay more attention to development itself, and not to PR.
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