OSLO ($1=10.00 Norwegian Krones) — The Army of the Kingdom of Norway will soon be armed with new portable surface-to-air missiles [MANPADS]. These are Polish Piorun. The agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and the Polish manufacturer Mesko S.A. was signed today, November 29 in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
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The Polish company did not give details about the deal. They only mention that Norway is buying hundreds of Piorun missile systems for several million euros. Norway is not the first country [besides Poland] to acquire Polish MANPADS. Before that, the USA and Estonia did.
The company mentions that Piorun won an open procedure from the Norwegian government. The Polish missile systems beat out competition from Europe and the US, but it was not specified what the other proposals were.
The first downed Su-35 in Ukraine
Piorun MANPADS are used by the Ukrainian armed forces in their war against the Russian army, which invaded the country on February 24th. Reviews over the past nine months about the qualities of the Polish missile system have been very good. There is even a claim that in early April the Polish missile shot down the first Su-35 fighter of the Russian Air Force.
According to Ukrainian sources, the Su-35 made a mistake by flying at a low altitude. In fact, it is the Western-supplied MANPADS to Ukraine that is the reason why Russian fighters avoid low-altitude flights, preferring intermediate ones, just before the lower limit of high altitudes.
Although there is no concrete evidence that it was Piorun that shot down the Russian Su-35 fighter, the fact is that there are dozens of videos of the Polish system successfully dealing with low-flying aerial objects, including Russian helicopters, as well as the most famous Russian attack helicopter Ka-52.
More about Piorun MANPADS
The Polish missile system entered service with the Polish army for the first time in 2019. I.e. it is a new portable missile system. Three years earlier, the missile system entered serial production.
The entire rocket system weighs over 16 kg, while the rocket itself weighs 10.5 kg. The missile is 1,596 m long and has a caliber of 72 mm. Piorun can carry an HMX [insensitive nitroamine high explosive] warhead with aluminum powder. The motor that drives the ammunition is a solid-fuel rocket motor. The operational range of the Piorun is 400 meters, and they can strike at a distance of 10 meters to 4,000 meters.
The missile fired from Piorun travels at a speed of 600 meters/second, which is approximately Mach 2.0. It is a homing missile, the guidance system consisting of infrared homing with an argon-cooled seeker.
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