20 Dec 2017 21:42

Georgian defense minister announces cooperation with France to defend airspace

TBILISI. Dec 20 (Interfax) - Equipment acquired from France to protect Georgian airspace has arrived in Georgia, Defense Minister Levan Izoria said.

The reinforcement of air defense is a priority for the Ministry of Defense, Izoria said at a joint meeting of several parliamentary committees on Wednesday.

During his visit to Paris earlier this year, where he visited the plants where the equipment is produced by THALES and MBDA, Izoria had the opportunity to take a closer look at the technical equipment Georgia has bought. "This technical equipment is now in Georgia. Accordingly, we'll do everything we can during Phase 1 for our airspace to have maximum protection. We are ready to continue the second phase together with our French colleagues," Izoria said.

The Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra said earlier in December, citing "official European sources," that the Georgian army will start receiving French-made Mistral anti-aircraft missile systems next year.

The Georgian-French agreement on the supply of air-defense systems was reached in 2015. The Georgian Ministry of Defense has yet to officially announce which air-defense systems Georgia plans to buy from France, the newspaper said.

The Mistral systems are designed to defeat low-flying helicopters and airplanes.

The contract concerns the delivery of the system's Mistral-3 modification, the newspaper said.

In addition to the Mistrals, Georgia has agreed to purchase GM200 3D mobile radars to detect airborne targets, Kviris Palitra said.