Other Kind of Parade
30 May, 2013
Other Kind of Parade
Celebrations of Georgia’s Independence Day on 26 May comprised an open display of Georgian armament for the close public observation. This was but one of the novelties introduced by the Georgian Authorities in the marking of this prominent day, making it much more exciting and interesting for the people than the last year’s marching down the Rustaveli avenue.
Paying no attention to a heavy rain, the Authorities laid out a variety of arms as an open public attraction in 12
towns of the country (out of 26). Anyone had a chance to study the arms and military machinery of the Georgian Army on a closer look. They were even allowed to hop into Didgori or Lazika vehicles or even tanks.
It can be said that it is these exhibitions exactly that can bridge the gap between the Army and the public and promote a profession of a State guardian among the youth. Perhaps some youngsters attending the military exhibition in various towns of Georgia on 26 May 2013 did unwittingly hooked on the military profession. Here we talk about a much more valuable motivation than the one allegedly borne out by the military extravaganzas aka PR stunts of the previous Authorities.
As for the weaponry exhibitions, the one held on the Republic Square of Tbilisi, proved to be most superb of all because it boasted a diverse composition of impressive specimens, such as T-72 tanks, BMP-2 infantry vehicles, Lazika, Didgori-1 and Didgori-3 (Didgori-2 happened to be on a different exhibitions), medevac Wolf, Ejder, Cobra, MRAP (the ones used right now by Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan), Dana and Grad artillery. Interestingly, a different sort of Didgori, mounted on 6wd Chinese lorry, was also featured there, albeit carrying a strange name Chingori.
Visitors also had a chance to relish a Georgian UAV designed on an Estonian model, as well as 60mm, 82mm and 120mm caliber mortar launchers displayed next to each other. These launchers, together with RPG-7 type anti-tank handheld grenade launchers, are a brainchild of Delta and Tbilaviamsheni.
Finally, the Republican Square exhibition also showed out a few rifles from the weaponry of the Georgian Army, including high caliber sniper rifle Barrett and an old friend – Georgian automatic rifle 5 (tested by the author of this article two months ago).
Oddly enough, neither in Tbilisi (apart from the square, exhibitions were arranged in Gldani and Varketili districts too) nor in any other 11 town where the Authorities held military exhibitions had visitors seen the air defence systems of the Georgian Army (such as Shilka, Osa, Buk, Spider).
Public display of the active military equipment and machinery of the Georgian Army is much welcomed as the foreign made arms (especially Soviet ones) are no secret to anyone, while open air demonstration of Georgian-made Didgori, Lazika, UAV or Machine Gun 5 contributes to their promotion in the population and enhances chances of their export.
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