Georgian Defence Force units to "completely" update arms to NATO standards

  • Beside obtaining modern, NATO-standard arms for troops, the Ministry of Defence is working with local producers like Delta and Tbilaviamsheni to restore hardware to operational status, Minister Garibashvili told MPs. Photo via Ministry of Defence of Georgia., 12 Jun 2020 - 19:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Defence Forces units will replace their aging hardware and arms for modern, NATO-standard models in an overhaul taking place this year, Minister of Defence Irakli Garibashvili told the parliament earlier today.

Garibashvili was delivering reports on his ministry's work to MPs within the 'Minister's Hour' format the legislative body has adopted for hearing from government members and said the MoD was planning to update both land- and air forces.

The minister said a need to update decades-old hardware had been demonstrated during their recent efforts in battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia, a subject he raised earlier this month.

Our army is having to use [...] 20 to 30-year old vehicles for transportation, which [...] is behind standards. Our plan is to purchase 480 special vehicles this year," Garibashvili revealed in his parliament address.

Also within these plans the MoD will work to fully equip all regular units with M4 rifles - a modern, American-designed weapon used by GDF partner units in the United States Army and Marine Corps. Garibashvili said alongside M4s the units would be completely equipped with "modern NATO-standard weaponry" in other areas.

A restoration of air force assets to operational status is also in the works, with a collaboration between Tbilaviamsheni and Delta companies resulting in rehabilitation and modernisation of assets such as Su-25 ground attack aircraft and helicopters used by the military.