PGZ from Poland offering Piorun MANPADS air defense missile to US Army

Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) is fighting for a contract to supply the U.S. Army with the Piorun MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense System) produced by Mesko, Krzysztof Wilewski reports on The procedure is still at the request for information stage. PGZ has submitted relevant documents to the US Department of Defense together with its American partner.
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PGZ Piorun Grom-M MANPADS man-portable air defense missile system (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The MANPADS currently used by the US Army is the FIM-92 Stinger, which entered service in 1981. Although modernized for four decades, it more and more differs from newer designs. The Pentagon initially planned to replace the Stingers with a new design only in a few years. However, the geopolitical situation on NATO's eastern flank leads to significantly accelerating this program.

A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Defense formally launched the procedure for acquiring new MANPADs. Defense companies were invited to the proceedings, including those from outside the United States, provided that they compete in partnership with a local company.

PGZ (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa), whose Piorun anti-aircraft system currently shows its combat capabilities in Ukraine, announced that it has joined the race to commission new MANPADS for the U.S. Army. Jacek Zagożdżon, an expert from the PGZ Communication and Marketing Department, said: ‘’We have started this procedure together with a strong American partner. However, due to the conditions of the US Department of Defense and the agreements binding on us, we cannot provide details at this stage’’.

PGZ representatives emphasize that the US Army knows the capabilities of the Piorun-M produced by Mesko, which - in the Grom version - were bought by the Americans in undisclosed quantities some time ago. Another advantage of PGZ is its experience in cooperation with the American defense industry. ‘’We are counting on confirmation of the Polish-American partnership at the industrial level. The implementation of the first phase of the Wisła program shows that we are able to cooperate, hence our openness in offering cooperation in the implementation of potential supplies for Poland's ally, which is undoubtedly the United States’’, emphasizes Zagożdżon.

The Piorun Grom-M is fully designed and developed in Poland by the company Mesko. With its launcher, it has a total weight of 16.5 kg. The design is based on the Soviet-made 9K38 Igla (SA-18 Grail). It is designed to destroy aerial targets such as low-flying aircraft, airplanes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. 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 at an altitude of 10 m minimum up to 4 km maximum.

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PGZ Piorun Grom-M MANPADS man-portable air defense missile system (Picture source: PGZ)