Georgian Name for Grad-Kraz
30 August, 2012
Georgian Name for Grad-Kraz

Georgian Defense Minister Dmitri Shashkin launched a competition through its Facebook page to name a reactive fire system presented in March of 2011 at Vaziani military training base by President Saakashvili. In contrast to Didgori armored vehicle and Lazika infantry fighting machine, this artillery installation devised by Delta scientific-technical center has no official name so far.

Former Defense Minister Akhalaia had not used a competition to select names for Didgori and especially Lazika. Furthermore, some say that the name of Lazika unexpectedly

came from President Saakashvili. If not for it another name – for instance, Jiki – could have been selected.

Generally, giving names and numbers to various types of military items is not only needed but necessary as they streamline referencing in documentation. A name should be as simple to pronounce as possible and should not be associated with slang of any wide - spread language such as English, French, German, Russian. In this regard, the names of Didgori and Lazika are acceptable. Now it is interesting how they would name the reactive fire system.

For instance, in the Soviet Union reactive fire systems were named after natural disasters, e.g. Grad, Uragan, Smerch, Taifun, while strangely mobile artillery installations received flower names, e.g. Gvozdika, Akatsia, Pion, Tiulpan.

From the outset, the Georgian reactive fire system had already had an informal code name Grad-Kraz that aptly conveyed the idea of the system. This artillery installation is a 40-barrel package of the Grad Soviet style reactive fire system installed on Ukraine-made Kraz type lorries.

Before the August 2008 war, the Georgian Army purchased from Israel the Grad style packaged reactive fire systems mounted on Mercedes lorries, which were called Grad-Lari.

Just like Grad-Lari, the name of Grad-Kraz makes a clear reference to the nature of the artillery installation it was given to. It is however almost impossible that Georgian Defense Ministry would leave the name for this military machine. For one thing, the name contains Grad, a Russian word.

The Ministry pledges to award a notebook to a winner of the reactive fire system naming competition.

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