Piorun GROM Thunder MANPADS
Man-Portable Air Defense Missile System - Poland
The Piorun also called GROM-M and nicknamed "Thunder" is a modernized version of the GROM MANPADS (MAN-Portable Air-Defense Systems) including a single-shot short-range missile designed and manufactured by the Polish Company MESKO based on the Soviet-made 9K38 Igla (SA-18 Grail). The progress in micro-electronics, chemistry, and production technologies has allowed a depth upgrade of the existing GROM MANPADS system. The development phase was initially supposed to conclude before the end of 2014, but the deadline was later pushed to September 2015. The Piorun was presented for the first time to the public during the Defense Exhibition MSPO in September 2015 under the name of GROM-M. The Piorun (Thunderbolt) has an entirely new set of characteristics meeting the future battlefield, including the planned air attack and jamming systems. In December 2016, Poland's Defence Ministry has signed a contract with the Polish Company Mesko for the purchase of 1,300 Piorun (Thunderbolt) short-range anti-aircraft missiles. On November 29, 2022, the Norwegian army announced the signature of a contract with Poland for the purchase Piorun man-portable air defense missile systems manufactured by Polish company Mesko S.A. MESKO announced on December 31, 2022, a new contract to deliver Piorun MANPADS to a Baltic country. According to the SIPRI Arms Trade Database, Poland has delivered to Ukraine 1,000 Piorun MANPADS.
Piorun MANPADS variants:
- GROM: Previous version of the Piorun with a hitting range of 5.5 km.
The Piorun MANPADS is designed to be operated by one soldier. It consists of a single-stage projectile, a single-use tubular launcher, a gripstock, and an on-ground power supply. The launch tube is used to house the Piorun missile and protect it from environmental factors. It is made of lightweight materials, such as fiberglass or composite materials, to minimize weight and enhance portability. The launch tube is also equipped with a carrying handle and sling attachment points for transportation. The gripstock is the control and aiming device that is attached to the launch tube. It features an ergonomic handle with various controls, such as trigger, safety, and arming switches. The operator holds the gripstock and aims the missile at the target. The sight is an optical or electronic device used to aim the missile at the target. It can be either a passive infrared (IR) seeker that detects the target's heat signature or an optical sight with magnification capabilities for daylight operation. Some advanced sights may also incorporate night vision or thermal imaging capabilities for low-light or night-time engagements. The battery unit provides electrical power to the missile system, including the seeker and ignition system. It is typically a compact, removable battery pack that is inserted into the gripstock or connected externally to the system. 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.
The mini keyboard to select types of targets, environments, and work modes
The Piorun missile itself, housed within the launch tube, is a lightweight, solid-fueled, surface-to-air missile with an infrared seeker for guidance is designed to be more resistant to modern countermeasures, such as flares or infrared jammers, than its predecessor, the Grom MANPADS. It is designed to intercept and destroy low-flying aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs. The Piorun MANPADS 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 missile has a weight of 2 kg. A proximity fuse is used to allow more effective destruction of small-size aerial targets, such as UAVs. The missile of the Piorun has a hitting probability of 10% when jammed.
New Piorun or GROM-M missile
|The Piorun MANPADS is designed to be carried and operated by a single soldier or a small team, allowing for rapid deployment and repositioning in various combat scenarios. The Piorun missile has an upgraded rocket motor, which enables it to travel at higher speeds and engage targets at a longer range. The compact and lightweight design of the Piorun MANPADS allows it to be easily transported and rapidly deployed by infantry units or integrated into vehicle-mounted platforms for increased mobility and flexibility.|
|The Piorun MANPADS is designed to engage low-flying targets on head-on and pursuit courses in cluttered and IR-jamming environments. It can be used in all weather conditions during the day and night. It has a detection range of 8 km, 1 km more than the GROM MANPADS. Once the operator has identified a target, they aim the launcher using the sight and then engage the target by pulling the trigger. The missile is launched from the tube, and the infrared seeker locks onto the target's heat signature, guiding the missile to intercept and destroy it. After firing, the launch tube can be reloaded with a new missile for subsequent engagements.|
|Armament||Type of engaged targets|
|One Piorun missile||Tactical aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, and cruise missile|
|Poland, Ukraine, Norway||Weight:10.5 kg |
Weight Warhead:1.82 kg
Warhead type: HE (High Explosive Fragmentation
Flight speed: 660m/s
Altitude: 10 - 4,000 m
|Combat Weight||Reaction Time|
|16;5 kg ready to fire||5 to 10 sec.|
|Target engagement||Guidance System|
|400 to 6,000 m||Passive IR Infrared homing device and night vision (operating in the medium IR range) with target engagement selection|
|1||Diameter: 72mm; Length: 1,596 mm|
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