Georgia is likely to replace its fleet of 12 Su-25 fighter jets with combat drones after Russia declined to provide parts for the aircraft.
Georgia bought the aircraft fleet before its 2008 war with Russia. Russia invaded Georgia’s southern neighbour ostensibly to come to the defense of separatist forces in South-Ossetia. The two countries severed all diplomatic ties back then and have yet to recommence them, although trade in some commodities has been restarted. Those commodities, predictably, do not include armaments, given how the only likely enemy Georgia would use such deliveries against would be Russia, Eurasianet reported earlier this month citing Brigadier General Vladimir Chichibaia.
Only one of the dozen Su-25 jets has flown recently because the supplier of parts - Russia - has declined to provide them to Georgia. Both Russia and Georgia used Su-25s in the 2008 conflict, with both claiming a few “kills”.
“The decision to shift away from attack aircraft to drones amounts to recognition that Georgia's arsenal would not stand a chance in the event of another confrontation with Russia,” the brigadier general said.