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Norway deploys Piorun air defence systems along the Russian border

By Defence Industry Europe

The Norwegian Armed Forces deployed its newly purchased Piorun man-portable air defence systems along the Russian border. The Piorun systems – delivered by the Polish defence company Mesko – enhance the Norwegian army's capability to intercept drones, helicopters, and low-flying aerial targets.

 

Norway decided to deploy Piorun systems along the border with Russia shortly after detecting a series of violations of Norwegian airspace by Russian drones. The unmanned aerial vehicles that entered Norwegian territory were likely used for reconnaissance missions and to test the response of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ air defence systems.

 

 

Norway has decided to purchase Polish-made air defence systems after the Piorun showed high efficiency during the full-scale war in Ukraine. In November 2022, the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) signed a NOK 350 million (approximately EUR 30 million) contract with the Polish defence company Mesko, a subsidiary of the state-owned PGZ group. It was the first major contract signed by Norway with the Polish defence industry. The number of acquired Piorun systems has not been disclosed. However, the NDMA said the contract covers the supply of “several hundred” missiles and an unspecified number of launchers.

 

 

“Piorun will supplement the Army’s new tactical air defences and the Air Force’s NASAMS and F-35 combat aircraft. Along with other capabilities in the Norwegian Armed Forces, Piorun will serve as a deterrent to any future opponent who will now have to deal with a wide range of defensive systems. We, therefore, consider this an important addition to our overall capabilities,” said Gro Jære, Director General of the NDMA, in November 2022.

 

 

As Defence Industry Europe reported, the first batch of Piorun air defence systems was delivered to the Norwegian Armed Forces in December 2023. The Piorun air defence system is an upgraded version of the Grom system, incorporating key improvements. It has garnered significant international interest, with several countries, including the United States, Estonia, Norway, Latvia, and Moldova, signing contracts for this weapon system. Additionally, Poland has donated an unspecified number of Piorun systems to Ukraine.

 

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