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Georgian and Abkhazian Navies. Inquiry

Source: RIA Novosti. The material is based on the information of RIA Novosti and free sources. 02.09.09
Translation: RusNavy.com

Georgian Navy was established in the beginning of 1990-ies. Its creation was committed to Captain 1st rank Alexander Javakhishvili, former commander of Soviet nuclear submarine. However, as a consequence of political distractions, Georgia did not manage to achieve all ships of disbanded 194th brigade of ships for close protection of sea area (PSA). Russia reserved part of the brigade, the rest of ships were just left in a useless state, and with only few exceptions Georgia could not recover them. The same situation with USSR Coast Guard boats of KGB left in Georgia.

Officially, only 7 antisubmarine amphibious helicopters Mi-14PL were transferred to Georgia from Black Sea Fleet (all of them were out of service). Later on, Georgia purchased two Mi-14PL helicopters from Ukraine.

Presently Georgia possesses two independent naval structures: Navy itself ("samkhedro sazgkhwao dzalebi" "naval defensive force") and Coast Guard (established in 1996).

Navy Commander-in Chief is Captain 1st rank Besik Shengelia since 2008.

As of 2008, Georgian Navy includes: 5 high-speed coast guard boats, known as Grif; 2 large amphibious ships; 2 missile boats (Dioscuria, Tbilisi); 2 gunboats (Batumi, Akhmeta); 5 patrol boats (Iveria, Mestia, Kutaisi, Tskhaltubo, Gali); 3 small 3.5-ton Aist-type boats; 2 small amphibious ships of 106K Guria project; 2 assault boats of 1176 DK-01 and DK-02 projects; large surveying motorboats DHK-81 and K-82; auxiliary vessel Psou.

Coast Guard: patrol ship P-22 Aeti former German Lindau-type coastal minesweeper M1085 Minden; patrol ship P-101 Kodori reconstructed in 1992-1993 out of middle fishing seiner; patrol boat P-21 Georgy Toreli; 8 patrol boats of 1400M project; 2 Point-type patrol boats handed over from USCG to Georgian Coast Guard (Tsotne Dadiani and General Mazniashvili), 2 small 11-ton Dountless-type boats: P-106 (former P-208) and P-209 constructed under Georgian order by American company SeaArk Marine; 9 small 3.5-ton Aist-type patrol boats.

Abkhazian Navy, according to official figures, includes vessels Komsomolets Abkhazii and Sukhum, motorboats Raduga-5, Raduga-08, self-propelled barge and some boats. These originally civil vessels are equipped with machineguns, artillery and rocket launchers.

As for Georgian border protection department, Abkhazian Navy is really more powerful and armed with patrol boat of 205P Tarantul project, 8 patrol boats of 1400M Grif project, 12 hydrofoil boats Nevka, 7-10 boats of other modifications.

Abkhazian Navy is subdivided into three divisions; the headquarters is near Sukhum light tower. Main naval bases are Sukhumi, Ochamchira, Pitsunda.

Navy personnel strength is 100-150 men; other source says 600 men. Marine battalion with 350 men, 4 BMP-2 vehicles, several SPG-9 and mortars.

Abkhazian sailors have an experience of combat actions in 1992-1993 conflict (they stormed ashore and blocked enemy's naval communications several times then).

Recently the work aimed at strengthening coastline defense on most probable seaborne assault directions has been performed in Abkhazia.