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Estonia takes delivery of Polish Piorun air-defense systems

The Estonian Defense Investments Center (RKIK) has handed over to the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Polish man-portable air-defense systems PPZR Piorun. The short-range air-defense procurement is worth €103 million.

The Piorun system was first adopted in 2019.

The weapon has an effective range of up to eight kilometers and allows for day and night operation. The systems are in use in Poland and Ukraine where they have proved effective.

RKIK said that the new weapons are easy to adopt and can be successfully used after just a few hours' training.

The Piorun system will be used by a separate wartime unit reporting directly to the Estonian Division formed based on reservist training.

"In addition to maneuver units, the Piorun missiles can also be used to defend objects which are not in the immediate vicinity of the front line but are important for Estonia's defense," said Lt. Col. Talen Lelov, head of the air defense arm of the Estonian Division.

"The missiles have proven effective at destroying most airborne weapons, and how they are used in Ukraine will surely be taken into account when training Estonian operators and in terms of how the system will be used," Lelov added.

The procurement for the new weapons is the first such joint venture between Poland and Estonia. RKIK highlighted fast delivery and unit price per target as speaking in favor of the Polish systems, as well as their technical compatibility.

The framework agreement between RKIK and Polish defense contractor Mesko was signed in the fall of 2022. Deliveries started around New Year's.

"Irrespective of the general security situation, spiking demand and component shortage, Mesko has managed to perform its contractual obligations and deliveries have been timely, which demonstrates extreme commitment from the Polish state and our partner," said Ramil Lipp, head of the weaponry category at RKIK.

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Editor: Barbara Oja, Marcus Turovski

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