The Polish Minister of Defense has adopted a resolution to provide local-made Piorun GROM-M MANPADS man-portable air defense missile systems to Ukraine following the tensions with Russia. As a member of NATO, Poland wants to show its support to Ukraine by supplying military equipment and weapons including Piorun GROM-M MANPADS man-portable air defense missile systems. During a press conference that was held on February 1, 2022, President of Poland Andrzej Sebastian said, Poland will provide Ukraine with “any help” to supply the country with humanitarian and military needs.
The Piorun (meaning “thunderbolt” in Polish) is a man-portable air-defense system of Polish production, designed to destroying low-flying aircraft, airplanes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The Piorun system including the launch unit and the missile has a total weight of 16.5 kg. The design is based on the Soviet-made 9K38 Igla (SA-18 Grail). The set is a deep modernization of the PPZR Grom set, therefore the second designation of the missile is GROM-M. It uses a new short-range missile including a new warhead that can hit a flying target at a distance from 400 m to 6 km and from an altitude of 10 m minimum to 4 km maximum.
The Piorun is designed to be operated by one soldier. It consists of a single-stage projectile, a single-use tubular launcher, a starting mechanism, and an on-ground power supply. The Piorun system including the launch unit and the missile has a total weight of 16.5 kg, the same as for the GROM. One of the main features of the new Piorun, there is a mini keyboard on the right side of the trigger module which can be used to select types of targets, environments, and work modes. There is also a day/night optical sight mounted on the tube launcher.
On 20 December 2016, representatives of the Management Board of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A. and members of the parliament, an agreement was signed between the company MESKO S.A., member of the PGZ Group, and the Armaments Inspectorate of the Ministry of National Defence. Its object is the production and supply of “PIORUN” man-portable air defence systems (MANPAD) for the Polish Armed Forces. The value of the contract is almost one billion Polish zlotys. Under the agreement, the company MESKO S.A., member of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, during the years 2017-2022 will produce and supply to the Polish Armed Forces 1300 missiles and 420 gripstocks, jointly forming the “PIORUN” man-portable air defence system (MANPAD).