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Why Azerbaijan needs Georgian arms?06.02.2013 | 16:24
A couple of days ago, in an interview to "Mteli Kvira" Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security of Georgia Irakli Sesiashvili said that South Korea and Azerbaijan have got interested in some types of the Georgian military equipment. This has been reiterated by Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. Georgia sees the potential deal as an opportunity to supplement the budget of the country. Why Azerbaijan needs Georgian equippment?
Mr. Sesiashvili says that currently they are carrying out an intensive work over various orders. He emphasizes that until recently, Georgia has not worked in foreign markets, limiting only with the internal market. But now the country will work for export: two countries - Azerbaijan and South Korea - have shown interest in the Georgian military equippment. Trying to figure out how reliable is the information concerning Azerbaijan, GTimes reporter contacted political scientist Vafa Guluzade. The expert said that to show interest did not mean to buy or order.
- Georgia is our nearest neighbor. Expression of interest to any product of a neighboring country is quite natural. Whether we are talking of the new products of the "Tbilvino" or the Research Center "Delta". This also does not mean that we will rush to buy all armored vehicles, manufactured from container. For this we have military experts and engineers who will carefully consider the parameters and specifications of these vehicles. I fully admit that they may meet the international standards and to be quite competitive on a par with the products of other countries, for example the military equipment of NATO and Israel. Then why Azerbaijan should not buy them? Our country has been producing military equipment for several years. Countries such as Azerbaijan and Georgia cannot handle it alone, so they are doing it in cooperation with world renowned producers. And this is encouraging and gives a certain guarantee of quality.
- Why Azerbaijan is arming? I know that in recent years the country has bought not only armored vehicles.
I mean multimillion deal between Azerbaijan and Turkey on purchasing 60 combat support helicopters T-129 produced by the TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries).
- What do you think, why would the country, 20% territory of which is under the occupation, arm itself? Russia has always armed Armenia, supplying it with military equipment. What for? Of course, in terms of self-defense Azerbaijan needs to have own military equippment. It is quite normal, Guluzade concluded.
Note that Azerbaijan together with Jordan is producing armored vehicles Marauder and Matador, developed by a South African company Paramount Group. But according to experts, these armoured personnel carriers do not fully meet the requirements of the local conditions, especially in mountainous terrain.
Recall, Irakli Sesiashvili says that Azerbaijan and South Korea got interested in the combat vehicles "Lazika" and "Didgori" that Georgia produces from 2011. "Lazika" is Georgian infantry fighting vehicle. It was developed by the Research Center "Delta" under the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. First time it was demonstrated on the training ground Vaziani on February 25, 2012. The vehicle is assembled on the basis of the American pickup truck Ford F-Series. It is equipped with heavy armor and armament with remote automatic control - a 23-mm cannon and 7.62 mm machinegun. The "Lazika's" crew consists of three persons; in addition, the IFV can accommodate seven paratroopers.
The second vehicle, "Didgori", is named after the Didgori battle in 1121, which led to the defeat of the Seljuk army and the liberation of Tbilisi. This armored vehicle was developed in 2011, by the Tbilisi Aircraft Production Association in cooperation with the State Military Research Center "Delta". It is manufactured at the Tbilisi tank repair plant. The first batch of 14 armored vehicles was first shown on the Independence Day of Georgia on May 26 last year during the parade in Tbilisi. Its anti-mine protection meets the 2b STANAG standard.
According to the description of technical parameters, the two armored vehicles are not weak. However, time will show how competitive on the world market of military combat vehicles they are. Experts consider it premature to make any predictions until the vehicles pass the proper tests.