Georgia Army to buy Tavor assault rifle

The Tavor will replace the Kalashnikov. Georgia is negotiating with IMI to set up a local ammunition factory.

Besides Israel, Georgia will apparently be the second country after India to buy Israel Military Industries' (IMI) Tavor assault rifle. Republic of Georgia president Mikhail Saakashvili reportedly made the announcement during a visit to IMI last week.

The Georgia Army will procure several hundred Tavor rifles for its special forces. Senior IMI sources said the Georgia Army planned to later increase the order for other units, in addition to its special forces.

The Georgia Army has used the Soviet-built Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, since Georgia was part of the USSR until 1991. All Georgia Army units use various versions of the Kalashnikov.

Defense sources said Georgia was considering setting up an ammunition factory in the country in cooperation with IMI, to meet its military needs. Negotiations on the subject are underway.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on August 2, 2004

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