Republic of Georgia Introduces Body Armor Manufacturing Capability

    The Republic of Georgia’s state owned “State Military Scientific-Technical Center “Delta” has recently unveiled an entire line of body armor that was first fielded in 2016 by the Georgian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and then later in the Central African Republic. Interestingly, a version of this armor was developed by a team of Georgian students working closely with SMSTC-Delta, but it is unclear whether or not the advancements from that experiment were utilized in this current iteration of the armor. The line of armor itself appeared to have come onto the market in 2014 but is only recently finding successful fielding among the Georgian Armed Forces. Unfortunately, the articles don’t mention specifications of this armor, other than it is up to NATO standards. It certainly incorporates a Kevlar insert, but the ballistic plate doesn’t appear to be steel, more likely it is along the lines of a U.S. Ceramic Level IV plate.

    From the article on Agenda.ge

    Georgian service members will be equipped with locally produced bulletproof vests and helmets after a successful test of the defence equipment at the State Military Scientific-Technical Centre Delta earlier today.

    Held at the centre’s testing grounds and involving high-ranking defence officials and military commanders, the testing marked the final phase to kick-off an “unprecedented” deal between the Ministry of Defence and Delta.

    The ministry said it had commissioned the centre for a contract worth 5 million GEL (about 2 million USD/1.78 million EUR*) involving production of the personnel protection equipment for the troops.

    Up until this adoption, the Georgian Armed Forces contingent of ISAF was relying extensively on U.S. body armor, such as the Interceptor vest and Kevlar PASGT helmet. Although the Georgian helmet appears to simply be a domestically manufactured PASGT, the armor is certainly an upgrade from the Interceptor vests that feature a torso opening and very little side armor capabilities. This Georgian Delta upgrade sports the latest trends within body armor in having a cummerbund that wraps around a soldier’s chest to velcro in front. Interestingly, similar to what U.S. forces went through in OIF/OEF, the GAF is going through a process of “up-armoring” their troops with throat protectors, shoulder and groin pads. This is indicative of a force that finds itself buttoned up in vehicles or operating in close urban centers. Although it gives much protection, it doesn’t afford much movement.

    All photographs are from the Georgian news site Agenda.ge

    Miles

    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]


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