- Polish Armed Forces to acquire 1300 Piorun/Grom-M systems by 2022
- Additional systems to be purchased for qualification and acceptance trials
Poland's Armament Inspectorate has signed a six-year PLN932.2 million (USD232.7 million) contract with Mesko (part of PGZ, the Polish Armaments Group) to acquire the new PPZR 'Piorun' (manufacturers designator: 'Grom Modernizowany'- Grom-M-) man-portable air defence system (MANPADS).
The contract, which runs from 2017 to 2022, provides for 1,300 new PPZR Piorun MANPADS launchers and missiles, and 420 fire control units (FCUs), GR-D day sights, and CTP-1 thermal sights. An initial batch of 150 Piorun MANPADS and 40 FCUs are scheduled to be handed over to the Polish Armed Forces by the end of 2017; these will be followed by annual increments to a final annual production rate of 250 missiles and 80 FCUs from 2019 to 2022.
The contract also provides for production of an additional 100 Piorun missiles for qualification and acceptance tests for each missile batch. The missile numbers are a significant departure from that (486 missiles and 152 starting mechanisms) originally provided for in the December 2012 'Polish Armed Forces Technological Modernization Plan 2013-2022. The main reason is to ensure the production line is economically justified, and to meet additional requirements for the newly formed, 53,000-strong Territorial Defence Force (Wojska Obrony Terytorialne - WOT)
The Grom-M programme was initiated in 2006. In October 2010 Poland's Ministry of Defence signed a formal research and development contract worth PLN100 million with Mesko-led consortium (includes CRW Telesystem-Mesko, WSK PZL-Warszawa II, Bumar Group (now PGZ) and Military University of Technology) for modernisation of the Grom system, under a programme designated 'Piorun'.
Piorun is a modernised variant of the earlier Grom MANPADS, which has been in serial production since 2000. Its external dimensions are the same as its predecessor: 159.6 cm in length, 72 mm in diameter.
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