LONDON — Poland’s PGZ has secured new customers for its flagship Piorun (Thunderbolt) man-portable air defense weapon, signing export contracts with two undisclosed countries from the Balkans and the Baltic states, company representatives said at the DSEI arms fair here.
The state-run group is now in talks to sell its weapon to new markets, executives said, touting its successful use by the Ukrainian Army as a sign of quality to would-be buyers.
Patryk Brzeziński, the head of the foreign trade office at Mesko, a PGZ subsidiary which makes the weapon, told Defense News the producer will soon roll out a new variant of the product, the Piorun New Generation (NG). It will be enabled with a longer range, additional features, and enhanced portability, he said.
“Our foreign customers tell us that their interest in this weapon largely stems from the fact that the Ukrainian military has had significant success with using it to combat Russia’s invasion,” Brzeziński said on the first day of this year’s DSEI event, which runs Sept. 12-15.
“We have supplied the Piorun to a number of countries outside Europe, too, including the United States, Japan, and Indonesia. But further export sales to European countries are our priority,” according to the company representative.
The current generation of the Piorun is enabled to hit targets at an altitude of up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), and has a range of up to 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), according to data from the manufacturer.
Located in Skarżysko-Kamienna, in central Poland, Mesko is the leading producer of ammunition and rockets in its domestic market. In addition to making the Piorun and Grom MANPAD systems, among others, the factory is also readying to expand its product range.
Last week, PGZ signed a memorandum of understanding with the Javelin Joint Venture (JJV), a partnership between Lockheed Martin and RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, to jointly manufacture Javelin anti-tank weapons.
In a statement, the Polish group said the collaboration will allow the partners “to evaluate the possibility to set up a final assembly plant and produce components in Poland.”
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.
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