Piorun MANPADS is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, MANPADS available on the market. The weapon has been manufactured since 2016, as a replacement for the Grom system. Back then 420 launch mechanisms and 1,300 missiles were ordered. Then, an annex was signed, with extra 600 launch systems, and 3,500 missiles being purchased. The aforementioned annex had a value of PLN 3.5 bn. Some of the Piorun MANPADS pieces have been handed off to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In their hands, the missiles have seen some successful operational use. Statistics have not been made publicly available, it is true, however, that Piorun missiles have been successfully used against relatively modern aircraft, such as Su-34 Fullbacks, Ka-52 gunships, or even the Orlan-10 UAVs.
Mesko S.A. has been informed about a growing demand for this product. In early September, Estonia bought 100 launchers plus 300 missiles. Just before the Russian aggression, earlier this year, an order for Piorun missiles has also been placed by the United States.
"Not only is that product a true flagship offering of the facility, but it also proves that numerous factors should be taken into account, at all stages of production, when assessing the lethality of the weapon. The whole staff worked for Piorun's success: not just the designers, or technology experts, but also those working on assemblies, or in the final QA department. Their activities make it possible to fuse all elements into a single, unique project", said Przemysław Kowalczuk, Member of the Board for Development.
The delivery of the 1000th system indeed means that the manufacturing output increase that had been previously announced is becoming tangible. Beforehand, only up to 300 Piorun missiles per year were being delivered. This year the manufacturing volume would be doubled, up to 600, and more than 1,000 examples per year would be manufactured as of 2023.
Piorun is a Polish MANPADS derived from the legacy Grom design. It has been developed by Mesko (consortium leader), CRW-Telesystem-Mesko (responsible for the guidance unit), and the Military University of Technology - within the framework of a joint R&D effort.