WARSAW ($1=4.50 Polish Zlotys) — Delivery of several hundred anti-aircraft missiles and dozens of hand-portable Piorun anti-aircraft missile launchers is underway. The information was announced today, November 30, by the Polish Minister of Defense, Mr. Mariusz Błaszczak. According to the Polish minister, by the end of the year, the Polish army should receive more Piorun missiles and systems.
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Piorun is a portable surface-to-air missile or man-portable air-defense system [MANPADS or MPADS]. They were put into operation in 2019.
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.
The delivery of Piorun to the Polish army comes a day after the manufacturer of the anti-aircraft missile system Mesko S.A. announced that Norway has signed an agreement to acquire several hundred Piuron MPADS. Norway will be the next operator of this system, after Poland, Estonia, and the USA.
Poland supplied Piorun MPADS to the armed forces of Ukraine as well. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion nearly nine months ago, Ukraine has successfully used the Polish anti-aircraft missile system against Russian attack helicopters and drones. It is claimed that the first Russian Su-35 Felon-E was shot down with this Polish system, a month after the start of the Russian invasion.
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