Grom Missiles For The Polish Army

The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence announced that an order has been placed, the aim of which is to procure Grom missiles, both for the MANPADS launchers, as well as for the Biała anti-aircraft systems.

The value of the deal has been defined as PLN 73.99 million. On the basis of the aforementioned arrangement, the Army is going to obtain 180 Grom missiles. Mesko S.A. company, based in Skarżysko-Kamienna, acts as the main contractor. The order is being realized as a single source procurement. The aim of the purchase is to acquire complementary inventory, making it possible to carry out the planned live-fire training exercises.

Simultaneously, as the justification published by the Armament Inspectorate reads, Mesko S.A. is the sole company in possession of the Grom MANPADS documentation. Procurement involving a different contractor would lead to supplies of equipment with a different profile, not compliant with the inventory which is already being used by the Army. This would create disproportionally large difficulties, within the scope of training or operational use of the said weapons.

Acquiring other weapons would not make it possible to use the same set of spare parts. Moreover, this would make it more difficult to train the crews, within the scope of carrying out combat operations with the use of the GROM MANPADS, and it would create a requirement to train the instructors, within the scope of operational applications of the new weapons. Taking the above into account, a need arises to re-order the inventory from the Contractor who has been delivering the weapon system, so far, since change of the inventory would lead to lack of compatibility and disproportionally large difficulties in operational use (including training), maintenance and logistics related to the said weapon.

As the justification published by the Armament Inspectorate reads

Grom anti-aircraft missiles are being operated by the Polish Armed Forces both with the use of portable launchers, as well as with the use of the ZSU-23-4MP Biała AAA systems on track-chassis, and in case of the ZUR-23-2KG Jodek-G towed systems. The missile is also going to be utilized in case of the Poprad system, which is planned to be introduced into operational use in the Polish Army. Grom missile is thermally guided with the use of a dual-band seeker, it is capable of neutralizing the airborne targets at distances of up to 5.5 and altitude up to 3.5 kilometres.

The Polish Army purchased ca. 400 portable Grom launchers, in order to replace the Striela-2M systems of the Soviet origin. Grom missiles have also been acquired by Georgia, Indonesia, Lithuania and Japan. Currently, it is expected that modernized Piorun missiles are going to be introduced into service. These missiles have a longer range, and they are capable of striking targets at higher altitudes. They are also more resistant to the countermeasures.

However, it seems that it is desirable to continue acquisition of both the missiles, as well as the launchers, until the moment when the Piorun MANPADS enters the mass production, since the obsolete Strela-2M systems have not been fully replaced. Moreover, Grom MANPADS, once the Piorun system is implemented, could be used by the reserve or territorial defence forces, still showing a high degree of combat usability.