Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM), also known as JSC Tbilaviamsheni, is a Georgian aerospace development and manufacturing company, which also partially handles the construction of domestic weapons, armoured vehicles and artillery systems. It is part of the STC DELTA state scientific research and development center.
TAM has trained a number of their production supervision, employees and engineers in long-term training programs in Western aerospace manufacturing plants.
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (former Tbilisi Aircraft State Association) was established on December 15, 1941. In the early days of World War II the aircraft factories of Taganrog and Sevastopol (Ukraine) were moved to Tbilisi, Georgia. Soon after the move, Tbilisi Aircraft State Association (TAM) launched the production of its first fighter aircraft, the LaGG-3. Through the war TAM manufactured a number of additional fighter aircraft for the former Soviet Air Force such as LaGG-3 and Yak-3. During World War II, the company was the sole supplier of fighter aircraft to the Caucasian front.
Following World War II, TAM worked in conjunction with the Yakovlev Design Bureaus to build the first Soviet jet fighter, the Yak-15 in 1946 followed by the Yak-17, Yak-23 and Yak-23 twin-seat trainer jet.
In the 1950s the factory started the production of Mikoyan's MiG-15 and later, the MiG-17 fighter aircraft. In 1957 Tbilisi Aircraft State Association built the MiG-21 two-seater fighter-trainer aircraft and its various derivative aircraft, continuing the MiG-21 production for about 25 years. At the same time the company was manufacturing the K-10 air-to-surface guided missile.
The first Sukhoi SU-25 (known in the West as the "Frogfoot") close support aircraft took its maiden voyage from the runway of Tbilisi State Association. Since then, more than 800 SU-25s have been delivered to the customers worldwide. From the first SU-25 to the present day, JSC Tbilaviamsheni is only manufacturer of this type of aircraft. Along with the SU-25 aircraft Tbilisi State Association also launched large scale production of air-to-air R-60 and R-73 IR guided missiles, a production effort that built over 6,000 missiles a year and that lasted until the early 1990s.
In the mid 1980s Tbilisi Aircraft State Association also participated in former Soviet space program "Buran" (the Soviet analog of Space Shuttle) by manufacturing and assembling various parts and assemblies for this program.
In the late 1990s there was a joint project of Tbilaviamsheni and the Georgian Space Constructions' Institute to design and produce the space antenna-reflector which were successful used in their first attempt on Russian space station "MIR".
Since 2001, TAM is constructing the Su-25U, upgrading the Su-25 to the Su-25KM Scorpion and also constructing and marketing civilian Very light jet (VLJ) known as the TamJet.
During the South Ossetia war of August 2008, the Russian air force bombed the TAM factory, resulting in unknown damage.
The company cooperates closely with the defence ministry's scientific technical center for military research.
Since 2005 TAM is constantly being upgraded and added more industrial complexes, including tank construction and maintenance plants. After 2008, focus is mainly tensioned on the development and construction of the Didgori Armoured Personnel Carrier series, Lazika Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and ZCRS-122 MLRS.
In April 2012, Georgia unveiled its first unmanned aerial vehicle to the public. The manufacturer will most likely produce a constantly modified series of such vehicles, equipped with latest technology. TAM also includes diverse weapons manufacturing plants which were unveiled for the first time to the public in 2012. These plants produce a large variety of small arms, ammunition and artillery systems.
TAM has been upgraded and added several additional plants to fulfill the needs of the military, which took complete directorate over the company in 2009. That however does not prevent the factory to continue the production of civilian aircraft. This is the current line of production:Tam Jet - (four-seated private jet)
Elit Jet - (seven-seated private jet)
TAAV Three-axle armored vehicle
'Mkudro' 40–82 mm hand mortars
60 mm mortars
82 mm mortars
120 mm mortars
Anti materiel rifles
PDM-1 rocket-propelled grenade launchers
RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers
RPGL-7G rocket-propelled grenade launchers
GP-25 and AG-40 grenade launchers
RD-7 off-route anti-tank mine