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Norway orders Polish Piorun MANPADS

Mesko vice-president Przemysław Kowalczuk (right), and Brigader Jarle Nergård, head of the NDMA's air systems division (left), signed a contract on 29 November for Piorun MANPADS for the Norwegian Army. Behind them (from left to right): NDMA Director General Gro Jære, Norwegian Chief of Defence Staff Elisabeth Natvig, and Polish Defence Attache Colonel Waldemar Torbicki. (NDMA)

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) signed a NOK350 million (nearly USD36 million) contract with Mesko for Piorun manportable air-defence systems (MANPADS) for the Norwegian Army on 29 November, the agency and the Polish company announced on their websites later the same day. Mesko said it would deliver several hundred Piorun missiles and starter kits, and the NDMA expected deliveries to start as early as 2023.

Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said, “This is the first time that Norway will operate this type of air-defence system, and the Norwegian Armed Forces will therefore receive an important capability that they have previously not had in their inventory. This is also the first time we have signed a major contract with the Polish defence industry.”

The NDMA said the Norwegian Armed Forces would receive several new and upgraded air-defence systems to defend against aerial threats at various altitudes and ranges, with the Piorun defending the lowest layer against unmanned aerial vehicles as well as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft up to an altitude of 4,000 m. Piorun has a range of 6,500 m, according to the NDMA.

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