“Didgori” is a newly created vehicle, just a few days old, though as its Georgian manufacturers say, it is already experienced. The Didgori combat vehicle has been designed by Georgians after a thorough study of comparable models throughout the world. After its design, it was tested according to international standards. Before its final formation, several test models were created. They were tested according to various parameters and the armor protection has also been checked several times. The Didgori combat vehicle is a multifunction armored personnel carrier that can also be used for intelligence purposes, convoy operations and moving on a battlefield. The Didgori is very maneuverable and fast, so it is very useful for Special Forces. According to information provided by its constructors, it is more protected than required by NATO STANAG II. This class provides protection from 7.62/54 type armor penetrable bullets, although the exact parameters of armor is kept secret. As for the bottom armor, it is created with the “sandwich” multi-layer system. It has three layers. The middle layer provides the possibility to keep off the blast wave in case of mine explosion. The other two layers protect the crew from fragmentation. The tires are armored as well. Each tire can resist up to ten shots. It has an extra layer of protection. Even if the tire is damaged, the vehicle can cover 50-60 kilometers at the speed of 80km/h. Several types of weapon systems can be mounted on the Georgian Didgori. At this stage, two kinds of vehicles are created. One is smaller with more maneuverability and another is larger in size. 7.62 mm “MINIGUN” systems also called “Volcanos” which provide a high rate of fire (12, 000 to 15, 000 rounds per minute) are mounted on one of them and a 12.7 mm machine-gun is mounted on the other.
· Crew – “Didgori 1” – 8+1 (machine-gunner), “Didgori 2” – 6+1 (machine-gunner) military servicemen.
· Speed – average speed 100-120 km/h
· Fuel capacity – enables it to cover 500 km
· Weight – 7 tons
· Designer of “Didgori-1” is a famous car designer Zviad Tsikolia
The constructors considered the technology that exists in the armor industry of the world, namely, mine resistance, armor quality, hardness, etc. For the most part, the armor of the Didgori is innovative, and the idea belongs entirely to Georgian constructors. The creation of innovative armor enabled the Georgian constructors to design the Didgori in a way to make its weight 30% lighter compared to similar vehicles. In addition, its armor is firmer than the rest of the vehicles of the same class. The Didgori is equipped with ultra-modern equipment and communications systems. The crew inside the vehicle can use the internal radio communication (i.e. contact the driver and commander) within 5 km radius. The vehicle is equipped with thermal cameras that enable the crew to move with its searchlights turned off and at the same time remain undetected by enemy forces. The telescope system can also be mounted on the back platform of the vehicle. It is equipped with a night vision device with a full rotation of 360є and an optical zoom X36. The combat vehicle is equipped with a 10 watt Harris radio system that enables the crew to communicate within 11 km radius.
It is possible to install various kinds of systems that will make the Georgian Didgori more effective.
The intelligence vehicle has additional hatches; so the crew can open fire without leaving the vehicle.
“This vehicle satisfies the requirements of soldiers. It is fast and mobile. The main demand from our side, from soldiers with regard to military equipment is the security parameters. In this case, the level of security is considered to be at the highest level. The major advantage of Didgori is that it is Georgian! It is produced in Georgia and it makes us feel proud, as well as its name!” – Aleko Gorgadze, Master Sergeant of IV Infantry Brigade.
“Experience and views of the Georgian soldiers, also, the principles of projecting and designing have been considered while creating this vehicle. This has happened for the first time in Georgia” – Zviad Tsikolia.
Production of its own military equipment is very important for any country. Compared to procurement, production is financially beneficial. The maintenance in- place is also faster and requires fewer finances. It can be freely counted as one more advantage of Didgori.