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Saakashvili climbing an armored car

23.05.2011  |  11:34

Saakashvili climbing an armored car. 17351.jpegGeorgia is pondering over creating its own weapon. On May 26, during a parade dedicated to the Independence Day in the republic, the Ministry of Defense is going to submit a new armored car Didgori made in Sakartvelo to public approval. So far, the combat characteristics of the car are kept secret; however, GeorgiaTimes correspondent contacted the head of the Center of Military Forecast at the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Anatoliy Tsyganok and First Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Konstantin Sivkov and


asked them to appraise Didgori's potential and prospects.

The output of a new armored car has become known about after the parade rehearsal. According to the media, the audience saw two modifications of Didgori. As was reported by editor-in-chief of Arsenal military-analytical magazine Irakly Aladashvili, the car is assembled on the basis of a Ford American pickup at Tbilisi aircraft factory. According to the expert, the fruit of the labour of the Georgian military-industrial complex may be used for the purpose of reconnaissance or as a carrier vehicle but first, it must undergo all the required tests, including the armor test.

Why did Georgia decide to sap at creating its own military armor, especially in the conditions of the actually decaying military-industrial complex? It seems like the United States have been for several years helping the republic with weapon, training Sakartvelo soldiers and supplying the country with all the necessary ammunition. However, firstly, there have been no large supplies of arms from over the ocean after the August-2008 events and after Barack Obama came to power in the USA. This was explained by both the instability of Saakashvili's regime, which Pentagon has no desire to support any longer, and the freshly started "reload" between Moscow and Washington. Secondly, the Georgian soldiers are currently trained by the American instructors only in the context of the program of getting ready for a peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan. And, finally, there is no more arms brotherhood between Saakashvili and Yushchenko and, as is known, Ukraine sometimes supplied arms to Georgia at a sacrifice, taking battle units off their duty.

That might be the possible reason for the media's active discussion of the future purchasing of American weapon planned by Sakartvelo. According to the press, the Georgian Ministry of Defense is going to purchase the most up-to-date samples of armament produced by the USA. They mean the Patriot-3 and Stinger air defense systems, Javelin ground missile systems and Hellfire-2 antitank systems, reports. Does it mean that if Tbilisi creates its own armored car, purchasing weapon from the United States is too expensive for the republic? But it is not quite clear then whether Georgia is capable of producing military hardware meeting all the requirement of the current conduct of a battle.

GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed Dudgori's prospects and the true purposes of creating this masterpiece of the Georgian armor with well-known Russian military experts Anatoliy Tsyganok and Konstantin Sivkov.

Tsyganok: Firstly, I'd like to remind you that the Americans started improving these armored cars after their Hammers were bombed. Earlier, they cost 30-35 thousand dollars, while their current price is about half a million. As for the old-fashioned and outdated armor, they sell it to Georgia, Poland and other countries. Secondly, Washington does not at all need such an unyielding man as Saakashvili. The president of Georgia is obviously out of place in the context of a thaw between the USA and Russia. It does not fall within NATO's or the United States' interests to support him now.

I admit that Saakashvili ventured to create this armored car because he started realizing that there will be no more supplies of weapon. But, honestly speaking, the cars built by Ford factories have low resistance to demolition. The whole world uses armored cars with an armored bottom.  

Sivkov: Let us be realistic. A Ford pickup is a passenger car that should be totally refined to be soundly protected. Its standard running gear may be protected only by thin armored sheets that can save the car only from a pistol or a short gun. I mean, these cars present no combat value. They may be interesting only as cash-in-transit vehicles but if they are used in a battle, Georgia will suffer great losses.

Moreover, all the basic industrial enterprises in the republic have been destroyed within 20 years. Even the largest Kutaisi automobile plant, which provided the Soviet Union with trucks in due time, was liquidated in 1991. There are no design specialists in the country, so it has got no basis for reconstructing, at least, some resemblance of the former industrial potential, especially that it is impossible with Saakashvili. He is no creator; he is a destroyer and an outright coward. Creation of this car is rather a political step meant to demonstrate the current Georgian government's care for reviving the country's industrial potential.

Ruslan Chigoev

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