Grom (missile)

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PZR Grom
PZR-Grom-02.jpg
PZR Grom missile with launcher
TypeMan-Portable SAM
Place of originPoland
Service history
In service1995–present
Used bySee Operators
Wars2008 Russian-Georgian War
Second Chechen War
War in Donbass
Production history
DesignerMilitary Institute of Armament Technology, WAT Military University of Technology, Skarżysko Rocket Design Bureau
ManufacturerMesko, Skarżysko-Kamienna
Produced1995–present
Specifications
Mass16.5 kilograms (36 lb), and for missile only 10.5 kilograms (23 lb)
Diameter72 millimetres (2.8 in)
Warhead weight1.27 kilograms (2.8 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
contact

Enginesolid fuel rocket
Operational
range
5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi)
Flight altitude3.5 kilometres (11,000 ft)
Speed650 metres per second (2,100 ft/s)
Guidance
system
infrared
Launch
platform
MANPADS

The Grom (meaning "thunder" in Polish) is a man-portable air-defense system produced in Poland and based on the Russian man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM) 9K38 Igla . It consists of a 72 mm anti-aircraft missile set with a flight speed of 650 m/s, as well as a single-use launcher, re-usable gripstock and thermal battery coolant assembly electric unit. The full name of the system is PZR Grom, PZR standing for Przeciwlotniczy Zestaw Rakietowy (literally anti-air rocket-propelled set).

It is designed to target low-flying helicopters and aeroplanes. As such, the Grom missile is used by other surface-to-air defence systems of Polish design, including ZSU-23-4MP Biała, ZUR-23-2 kg and POPRAD self-propelled artillery system. It should not to be confused with versions of the Zvezda Kh-23 air-to-surface missile built under licence in Yugoslavia/Serbia as the Grom-A and Grom-B.

History[edit]

Polish soldiers practice taking aim with Grom MANPADs.

Initially at least since the 1970s the MESKO metal works in Skarżysko-Kamienna mass-produced license-built Soviet Strela-2M (SA-7 Grail) surface-to-air missiles, designated in Poland as Strzała-2M. However, when these became outdated in the late 1980s the lead designers prepared the works to produce a more modern Soviet design, the 9K38 Igla (SA-18 Grouse). However, Poland left the Soviet bloc in 1990 and the license was declined, thus leaving Poland with no modern MANPADS at hand.

Because of that, in late 1992 various Polish works and design bureaus (among them the Zielonka-based Military Institute of Armament Technology, the WAT Military University of Technology and the Skarżysko Rocket Design Bureau) started working on a new Igla-like design. These were allegedly helped by the Polish intelligence services able to buy the design plans of the original 9K38 Igla missile system in the LOMO works in Leningrad (modern St. Petersburg) during the turmoil following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[1] By 1995 the first batch (marked as GROM-1) entered service. It included a number of imported Russian components. By the late 1990s these were replaced with entirely Poland-designed elements.

On January 1, 2013, Bumar Amunicja manufactured their 2,000th Grom missile set.[2]

Grom was later improved into what became known as the Piorun, with a new seeker and rocket motor.[3]

Design[edit]

The system is designed to be operated by one soldier. It consists of a single-stage projectile, a single-use tubular launcher, a starting mechanism, and an on-ground power supply. The rocket projectile uses solid propellant. The infrared aiming sensor is cooled with liquid nitrogen. There are options for identification friend or foe and thermovision.

Operational history[edit]

The 'Grom' has been used by Polish Land Forces since 1995.[4] It is also exported to other countries, including Georgia which bought 30 launchers and 100 missiles in 2007.[4] According to press releases during the Russo-Georgian War, Polish-made GROM missiles targeted Russian planes and helicopters 20 times, 12 missiles were fired out of which 9 hit their targets, and most likely shot down a Su-25.[1]

Indonesian Army bought 155 GROM missiles as part of Kobra V-SHORAD system.[5][6]

Lithuania plans to buy approx 25 launchers and unknown number of missiles for 10 million €[7][8]

Political relevance[edit]

In late 2008 Russian press claimed that Russian army personnel had found Polish GROM missiles in Chechnya. Polish press immediately reacted accusing Russia of fabricating evidence which links Poland to that conflict, claiming that missiles were moved by Russians from Georgia to Chechnya.[9]

Operators[edit]

Map with Grom operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

  •  Georgia - 30 launchers and 100+ missiles, were used in Russo-Georgian war.[10]
  •  Indonesia - in use as a part of KOBRA system.
  •  Lithuania - signed purchase contract on 2 September 2014, first deliveries are expected before end of the 2014.[11][12]
  •  Poland - Around 400 launchers and 2000 missiles of Grom version, 400 missiles of Piorun version, 420 launchers and 1300 missiles of Piorun version on order.[13]

Evaluation only[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b jagor, PAP (August 2009). "Polska broń w służbie gruzińskiej armii". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish) (2009-08-10). Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  2. ^ 2,000th Grom missile set Archived 2013-01-03 at the Wayback Machine - Armyrecognition.com, January 1, 2013
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2018-04-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b Michał Majewski, Paweł Reszka (August 2009). "Polska broń w służbie gruzińskiej armii". Dziennik (in Polish) (2009-08-10). Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  5. ^ "KOBRA VSHORAD INDONESIA ARMY EXPANDING SUPPLIER BASE WITH POLAND ARMY". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-07-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-07-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-05-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "http://geo-army.ge". Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2013-01-12. External link in |title= (help)
  11. ^ *"Lithuania signs contract on purchase of GROM air-defense system". Delfi. 3 September 2014. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  12. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2017-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-27. Retrieved 2019-07-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2017-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]