Georgia buys air defense missile systems from France

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VL Mica simulation in Villacoublay © MBDA / Sidonie Deschamps

Georgia will purchase air defense missile systems from France, the Georgian Minister of Defence Levan Izoria confirmed on 11 April.

The agreement involves increasing spending by the armed forces for training its service members to operate new anti-aircraft defence systems and purchasing the equipment itself from French companies.

A number of financial transactions have already been carried out, and we are entering the intensive phase of the agreement throughout 2017-2018, during which we will increase the spending [to] purchase an anti-air system ensuring global protection for our country”, said Izoria in his comments.

Also Georgian defence ministry told the media he would meet his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris next week to “go through further details” of the air defence agreement.

The type of the anti-aircraft defence system is not called, but according to some source, that Georgian Defence Forces ordered the Vertical Launch MICA (VL MICA) short range, ground-based air defence system developed by MBDA. Georgia is not likely to buy SAMP-T due to its high cost and the fact that it is an anti-ballistic missile system.

The VL Mica anti-aircraft defence system is fire and forget and has all-weather, day and night capability to carry out simultaneous engagement of multiple targets.

The missile is launched vertically using thrust vector control. The flight is controlled by the programmable strap down inertial mid course guidance system and then by the terminal homing seeker.

The missile’s butalite solid propellant booster and sustainer motor gives a maximum speed of greater than Mach 3. The maximum target range is 10,000m and 9,000m altitude. The launch rate between firings is two seconds.

The majority of such systems in Georgia were destroyed during the war with Russian in 2008.

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