Poland Hands Over Piorun MANPDADS to Estonia
Lieutenant Colonel Talen Lelov from the Estonian Armed Forces noted that the combat testing of Piorun missiles under Ukrainian service would guide the training of Estonian personnel.
After the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War, Piorun was exported to multiple European countries, and an undisclosed number of MANPADS were donated to Ukraine. A Russian Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter was allegedly hit with a Piorun missile during the war.
Piorun is meant to serve as a NATO-compatible MANPADS as an improved derivative of the Grom MANPADS, the Polish derivative of Russian Igla. Thus, the overall design in terms of both the launcher and the missile bears some similarities with Russian Igla MANPADS.
The IR-guided missile can reach a range of 6.5 km and has a speed of Mach 2. Piorun can be used as a MANPADS or mounted on platforms such as the ZUR-23-SP air defence system using both 23 mm anti-aircraft guns and Piorun missiles.
Poland is currently developing a successor named Piorun NG. The main improvements of Piorun NG include a new multi-spectral seeker and increased resistance to counter-measures. The missile will feature algorithms to help ignore flares and a dual-mode proximity fuse incorporating RF-based active and magnetic passive modes.