Defence ministry in talks with Poland, Czech Republic, Israel for joint defence production

Georgian troops deploy from the locally produced Didgori armoured vehicle during the 2020 Noble Partner multinational drills in the country. Photo via Ministry of Defence of Georgia., 25 Dec 2020 - 19:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Ministry of Defence of Georgia is in talks with Poland, Czech Republic and Israel for establishing joint ventures for developing knowledge and experience in a "priority" field of national defence production, minister Irakli Garibashvili announced at a briefing of his 2020 ministry report on Friday.

Garibashvili told the presentation of the annual briefing 2021 would see "essential steps" taken by his institution for rounding off ongoing projects related to defence industry and launching new initiatives.

The ministry has seen a major increase in focus on defence production under Garibashvili, with the minister reaffirming the priority while announcing the talks with the three partner states.

The Georgian Defence Forces will be "completely" equipped with NATO-standard weaponry by the end of next year, the audience of the report also heard. Garibashvili said this included providing the troops with M4 rifles, as well as new machine guns and grenade launchers.

He also listed artillery assets, mobile anti-air hardware, "operational and tactical" drones - of both reconnaissance and combat variety - as well as close-range anti-tank capability in the list of equipment to be handed to GDF units in 2021.

This year the ministry signed deals with a number of foreign partners for provision of equipment to GDF, including on a "complete rehabilitation and modernisation" of anti-air assets by two Israeli defence producers, an agreement for receiving Spanish-made drones, and deals with German and Italian truck companies.