Sales of the Polish-made Piorun man-portable missile skyrocketed after an impressive showdown in Ukraine.
The Norwegian army will soon be equipped with the Polish Piorun man-portable air defense missile (MANPADS). The agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and the manufacturer Mesko SA was signed on November 29, 2022, in Oslo.
The Polish company did not give details about this deal, they only mentioned that Norway will buy hundreds of Piorun missile systems for many millions of euros. Norway is not the first country to buy MANPADS from Poland, before that the US and Estonia have been customers.
The manufacturer refers to the fact that Piorun has won the contract under a public tender call from the Norwegian government. Poland’s MANPADS system beat competitors from Europe and the US, but they did not specify what the other proposals were.
The Piorun man-portable air defense missile has been actively used by the Ukrainian armed forces against the Russian Army since the outbreak of the conflict on February 24, 2022.
Evaluations over the past 9 months about the quality of the Polish-made missile system have been very good. There are even sources that at the beginning of April 2022, it was Piorun MANPADS that shot down the first Su-35 fighter of the Russian Air Force.
According to Ukrainian sources, the pilot of the aforementioned Su-35 made a mistake when flying at a low altitude and fell within the range of a man-portable anti-aircraft missile, resulting in it being shot down.
In fact, it is the MANPADS provided by the West to Ukraine that is why Russian fighters avoid low-altitude flights, preferring only medium-altitude operations in order to avoid even enemy groups. suitable as Buk-M1 or S-300.
Despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence that it was the Piorun man-portable missile that shot down the Russian Su-35 fighter, the fact is that there are dozens of videos showing the Polish MANPADS system successfully dealing with it. with low-flying objects.
Among the proven targets actually shot down by the MANPADS Piorun system are many Russian helicopters as well as combat aircraft, especially the most famous attack helicopter, the Ka-52, which is also a “victim”. ” of this weapon.
The Piorun system first entered service with the Polish Army in 2019, which means it is a new-generation mobile missile complex. Three years ago, the MANPADS Piorun went into mass production.
The entire missile system weighs more than 16 kg, while the shell itself weighs 10.5 kg. The missile is 1,596 m long, 72 mm in diameter. The Piorun can carry a 1.82 kg warhead containing HMX (strong nitroamine insensitive explosive) made of aluminum powder.
Piorun’s impact zone is in the range of altitude 10 – 4,000 m, range 500 – 6,500 m, target speed when flying up to 400 m/s, flying out is 320 m/s. The rocket has a velocity of 660 m/s, achieved by a solid-fuel engine.
According to Ukrainian soldiers, against Russian helicopters at altitudes up to 4 km or low-flying aircraft, Piorun is a much better choice than the Soviet Igla type. According to some sources from Poland, Piorun can capture targets up to 7-8 km away.
Due to its success in the Ukrainian battlefield, in addition to the contract with Norway, Poland is promoting the production of Piorun man-portable air defense missiles, it is expected that 600 launchers and 3,500 ammunition will be delivered in the near future.