Polish Ministry awards defense contract to Mesko

 The Polish Ministry of National Defence has awarded a contract worth 932 million zloty (US $220 million) to local defense company Mesko for new Piorun  short-range man-portable air defense systems for the country's military.

Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said at the official signing ceremony that the new systems are to ‘protect Poland, and not threaten or attack anyone.’ The first brigades will obtain these weapons later this year.

"Under the deal, the Polish Armed Forces will acquire 1,300 missiles and 420 missile launchers," Macierewicz said, as quoted in a statement released by the Defense Ministry.

 

The Piorun, translated roughly to thunderbolt, is an upgraded version of the Grom MANPAD. Based in Skarzysko-Kamienna, in Poland's south, Mesko is a subsidiary of Poland's state-run defense group PGZ. The company specializes in making missile systems and ammunition.

In addition to 70 AGM 158A JASSM-ER missiles, Warsaw is also to obtain the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-To-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. The Polish government sees the acquisitions as one of the country's key military procurement programs, and a crucial part of its efforts to ramp up the country's defenses against an increasingly belligerent Russia. 

 

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