The Didgori armoured personnel carrier
Didgori is an armoured personnel carrier developed by the Delta State Military Scientific-Technical Centre of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, in cooperation with Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM). The vehicle was named after the Battle of Didgori.
Georgia unveiled the Didgori family of armoured vehicles during the country’s Independence Day military parade on 26 May 2011. 14 vehicles were paraded at the event and the first vehicles were tested in Vaziani by the 4th Infantry Brigade of the Georgian Army. As many as 30 vehicles have been delivered to the army by TAM. Didgori family of vehicles are assembled at the 31st plant in Tbilisi.
Didgori is a multirole vehicle that can be deployed in intelligence missions, convoy operations and troop transportation on the battlefield. The highly manoeuvrable vehicle is also used for missions conducted by the special forces.
Didgori APC variants
Didgori is produced in two variants, Didgori 1 and Didgori 2. Didgori 1 can accommodate nine personnel, while the smaller Didgori 2 variant has space for seven.
Design and features
Didgori 1 was designed by a famous car designer from Georgia Zviad Tsikolia. The design features an armoured body attached to a 4×4 chassis.
The Georgian manufacturers employed advanced armour technology to improve the performance of the vehicle in mine resistance, armour quality and ruggedness. The innovative armour allowed the manufacturers to reduce the weight of Didgori by 30%.
The conventional layout of the vehicle houses the engine in the front, crew section in the middle and troop compartment at the rear.
The driver and commander can enter the vehicle through doors provided on the either side of the vehicle. A rear side door enables the entry and exit of the troops. A spare wheel is fitted to the right side of the vehicle. The vehicle is provided with additional hatches to enable the crew to open fire from inside.
Observation and control
The Didgori is equipped with thermal cameras for the crew members. The telescope system can also be mounted on the back platform of the vehicle. The vehicle has a 360° rotatable night vision device with an optical zoom X36.
Didgori 1 is armed with an M134D 7.62mm minigun mounted on manually operated weapon station. The minigun has a high rate of fire at 3,000 shots a minute. Didgori 2 is mounted with an NSV 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The NSV can fire 700 to 800 rounds a minute. The vehicle can also be fitted with anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) serving as a secondary armament.
The Didgori APC offers more protection than the required Nato Stanag II Class. This vehicle protects the crew from 7.62/54 type armour-penetrable bullets. The bottom of the vehicle is fitted with armour integrating the sandwich multilayer system. The system has three layers; middle layer avoids the blast wave and the other two protect the crew from fragmentation during mine explosion.
The armoured personnel carrier can withstand a 6kg blast under any wheel. The gunner is provided with partial armour shield against small arms fire. The tyres have an extra layer of protection to resist up to ten rounds. The vehicle can travel 50km to 60km at a speed of 80km/h with damaged tyres.
Navigation and communications
The Didgori is equipped with modern communications equipment and systems. An internal radio communication is provided for crew inside the vehicle. A 10W Harris radio system enables the crew to communicate within 11km radius. The vehicle can also be fitted with a range of systems for increased effectiveness.
Didgori is powered by a double turbo diesel engine delivering a maximum power output of 450hp. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 100km/h-120km/h. The fuel tank capacity allows the vehicle to travel over 500km.
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