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 sources 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. (end of excerpt)
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: Georgia’s then-defense minister, Tina Khidasheli, signed two contracts in mid-2015 to buy a surface-to-air missile system from France.
One contract, worth €52.65 million, was awarded to Thales-Raytheon Systems for search radars and command and control systems.
The other, worth €24.98 million, was awarded to MBDA France for the Vertical Launch MICA air-defense system.
The contract values were approved by the Georgian parliament when it ratified a loan agreement to finance the purchases on Dec. 24, 2015, according to local media reports.
Georgia’s Ministry of Finance was to take out a five-year, €82.82 million loan from French bank Societe Generale to finance the purchase.
Of this total, €77.63 million will buy the air-defense systems while the remaining money will fund other risk management expenses.
The loan is backed by France’s export credit agency, Coface, and Georgia will pay a floating interest rate of between 1.27 and 2.1 percent.
Obviously, in the interim unspecified problems have arisen, which next week’s meetings are intended to resolve.
The contract has not come into force, sources say, presumably because Georgia has not made the requisite payments.)