New VSHORAD System to be Purchased This Year. Grom Missile Successor

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  • Fot. Archiwum XIV zmiany PKW Afganistan

Polish Armed Forces plan to sign agreements pertaining to procurement of the VSHORAD Piorun (Thunderbolt) missiles and Pilica anti-aircraft systems until the end of this year. This means that the main contracts related to the lower level of the Polish integrated air defence system are going to enter the implementation phase, and that they will be realized by the domestic industry.

As we were informed by the spokesman for the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartłomiej Misiewicz, it is planned that proceedings related to procurement of the Piorun missiles start this year. The contract is expected to be signed during the third quarter of this year. According to the information published by the Polish Ministry of Defence, back in 2015, the modernization plan assumed that “more than 400 missiles” would be acquired until 2022.

The proceedings are planned to be initiated in June, while the agreement should be signed during the third quarter of this year.

Spokesman for the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartłomiej Misiewicz.

Piorun anti-aircraft system is a derivative of the Grom MANPADS, which has been used by the Polish Army for years and which has been exported to Lithuania, Georgia or Indonesia. The Piorun design features changes which increase its combat potential though.

The system has been fitted with an upgraded digital guidance system, the software of which may be updated, depending on the expected threats. In the light of the above feature, the missile should be resistant to a variety of jamming techniques applied by the potential adversary. The weapon’s range is going to be longer, with higher effective altitude at which the targets may be neutralized. The missile is expected to be capable counteracting against the threat posed by aircraft, helicopters, UAVs and cruise missiles. Up until now, range and altitude at which the Grom system is said to be effective were defined as 5.5 and 3.5 km respectively. 

Agreement pertaining to procurement of the Pilica systems is planned to be signed this year too. The proceedings have been in progress since March 2016, they cover, inter alia, the procurement schedule.