Armed Forces

Another Lot of Piorun MANPADS Passes Field Tests Programme

Image Credit: Mesko
Image Credit: Mesko

Another lot of Piorun MANPADS has passed the field tests. Now the missiles can be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces. This translates into an introduction of 300 missiles into service.

Last week complete field test programme has been finalized at the Drawsko Pomorskie range, regarding another production lot of Piorun MANPADS. 8 missiles were launched, with a 100% hit rate. This means that the missiles originally expected to be supplied in 2020 would be delivered to the military - around 300 examples.

Considering the tough weather conditions, one needs to note that Piorun MANPADS have proven to be highly effective in neutralizing the airborne threats, said Marcin Ożóg, Board Member at Mesko S.A., dealing with manufacturing. Ożóg supervised the tests in person. As a manufacturer of anti-aircraft missiles with many years of experience, we go to great lengths, not only to deliver the most usable equipment to the soldiers, as we strive for that equipment to be reliable. The tests results confirm that missiles manufactured at MESKO meet those requirements. Given the above, I hope that more Piorun missiles would be received by the Armed Forces, by the end of this year. Ożóg concluded.

This would be the third delivery of Piorun MANPADS, happening based on a contract signed back in 2016. The first batch of more than 100 missiles was delivered in 2018, while several hundred more were supplied in March this year. The agreement signed in 2016 assumes that Mesko, manufacturing the Piorun missile, would deliver 420 launch systems, and 1,300 missiles in total.

Piorun next-generation MANPADS developed by MESKO, CRW Telesystem-Mesko, and the Military University of Technology was designed based on experience the Polish military gathered in using the Grom MANPADS. Piorun features a new IR-seeker with greater resistance to interference and enhanced capability against targets with low IR signatures - such as UAS.

The Piorun's launch system features an optronic targeting system with day/night/all-weather operation ensured. Finally, the missile is programmed before launch. That means that its operation is tailored to match a specific target that the missile is used against, in the given, specific situation. Piorun may act against targets at a distance of up to 6.5 kilometres, flying at an altitude of up to 4 kilometres.

Image Credit: Mesko. 

Piorun missiles may be used as MANPADS, or as an effector of the Poprad SAM, broadly proliferated in the Polish Army. Piorun is also compatible with the Pilica air defence system, operated by the Air Force. This enhances the capabilities of the aforesaid systems.

Not only the operational forces but also the Territorial Defence component are to use the Piorun missiles. The latter branch of the military is planning to establish VSHORAD units of its own. However, the Territorial Defence component is to receive the legacy Grom systems first. In the units subordinated to the General Command of the Armed Forces Grom MANPADS would be replaced by Piorun.