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Saakashvili: Georgia Manufacturing 'Combat Vehicle'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Feb.'12 / 18:43

President Saakashvili said on February 20, that this week the first-ever Georgian-made “combat vehicle” would be tested.

Saakashvili made the announcement while addressing Georgian troops in the Helmand province during his visit to Afghanistan on February 20.

He did not provide details about the “combat vehicle” other than its name – Lazika; the same name has been picked by Saakashvili to a planned new city about which he first announced in December.

“You know we have already produced armored vehicles Didgori, we also produce automatic rifles and other equipment – few countries in the world have it,” Saakashvili said.   

Two types of Didgori armored vehicles, manufactured in Georgia and developed by research center Delta of the Georgian Ministry of Defense, were first showcased during a military parade on May 26, 2011 – Didgori 1 with multi-barrel heavy machine gun, Minigun, capable of carrying nine personnel and Didgori 2 with 12.7 caliber machine gun.

A ruling party lawmaker, Givi Targamadze, who chairs parliamentary committee for defense and security, claimed earlier this month, that Georgia was working on production of unmanned aerial vehicle; no details are available.

President Saakashvili also said on February 20, that the authorities “have done much in recent years for equipping our armed forces” without “much noise and bragging”.

He also said that number of those willing to undergo reserve service increased four-fold after the August, 2008 war and by end of this spring Georgia would have “over 100,000 trained and equipped reserve troops.”

Saakashvili also said that he was proud when he visited earlier this month the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and met there four Georgian servicemen undergoing courses for future Marine Corps officers - “the unit,” Saakashvili said, “which we will definitely need in our armed forces.”

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