Defence ministry to buy NATO-standard hardware in update effort

  • Defence minister Irakli Garibashvili revealed plans for the Georgian Defence Forces to update part of their hardware this year. Photo via Ministry of Defence of Georgia., 3 Jun 2020 - 17:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Ministry of Defence of Georgia will obtain NATO-standard hardware to replace some of the current equipment used by the Georgian Defence Forces, with the replacement necessitated by challenges demonstrated during COVID-19 lockdown efforts by the troops.

The news was revealed by minister Irakli Garibashvili in a Rustavi2 channel programme on Tuesday, where he spoke about the effort by servicemembers called up to help battle the pandemic throughout the last few months.

Garibashvili praised the "crucial" work of GDF troops manning checkpoints to quarantine zones and screening traffic in and out of coronavirus-affected locations, but added the effort had revealed "technical problems" with their equipment.

One of the first issues we are working to solve this year is updating [GDF] hardware. In particular, we have plans to buy hundreds of new special hardware - NATO-standard, produced by European brands - for replacing [current equipment], so that the army can [efficiently] deal with problems," Garibashvili told programme hosts.

The minister hailed "unprecedented and hard work" carried out by the military, citing figures showing 1,7 million vehicles disinfected at checkpoints, in addition to 2,5 million citizens screened by military medics to reveal signs of fever as a precautionary measure for identifying possible COVID-19 traces.

The work had revealed 158 individuals with high temperature, leading to "major prevention", Garibashvili said before expressing his gratitude to troops involved in the effort.