Poland could soon become one of the largest exporters of arms in Europe: Norway just became the third country to purchase the Polish Piorun MANPADS system.
This means that Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile systems found their third foreign buyer in less than a single year. The first two countries to purchase this military product were the United States and Estonia. It is also used in Ukraine, through the defensive assistance of the Republic of Poland.
Piorun is manufactured by the Polish company Mesko. Official representatives of the company signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense of Norway for the supply of Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) on November 29 in Oslo.
The developer does not disclose the exact number of MANPADS units and missiles for them to be delivered under the terms of this agreement.
The United States became the first foreign customer to purchase Piorun back in February 2022. This fact is alone impressive enough as the USA is a globally leading country according to the domestic development and production of weapons. The interest of the U.S. Army clearly points to the high technical potential of Piorun.
In September 2022, 100 MANPADS launchers with 300 missiles were purchased by Estonia.
Mesko officials said that the contract with Norway was signed after winning the competition against other European and American manufacturers. This means that Piorun managed to outrun systems similar to American Stinger, French Mistral, British Martlet, and StarStreak, as well as the Swedish RBS-70, possibly offering a better cost-to-performance ratio.
Defense Express also notes that the Polish company possibly offered a shorter production time. Previously it was announced that Poland was planning to triple the production of Piorun MANPADS. An additional important selling point is based on its practical combat effectiveness already proven in Ukraine against a range of piloted and unmanned aircraft.
The effective range of Piorun is up to 6.5 km (4 miles). It can hit targets at an altitude of up to 4 km (2.5 miles). This MANPADS is based on its predecessor Grom and features an upgraded rocket motor, and a newly introduced laser non-contact detonator, while the sensitivity of the homing head was increased four times.