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"It was created on the basis of the Soviet Needle: Slovakia purchased Polish Piorun MANPADS, as well as Israeli Barak MX complexes

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Image source: topwar.ru

Slovakia, under the previous government, lost its air defense capabilities due to the transfer of anti-aircraft systems to the APU. The new authorities are faced with the task of restoring the air defense potential.

As indicated in the publication European Security & Defense, details have emerged about the purchase of new air defense systems by Bratislava: the Israeli Barak MX medium-range air defense system with three PU, each equipped with 8 missiles, worth € 128 million, and 36 Polish Piorun MANPADS for a total of almost €66 million.

The procurement process began on May 31, 2023, when the military department sent requests for proposals to the ambassadors of 11 selected countries.

A follow-up evaluation conducted by a group of about 60 experts in August 2023 evaluated applications based on criteria in the areas of technical capabilities, purchase price, life cycle costs, delivery dates, preparation of calculations and participation of national industry.

In terms of the SAM, the first place was taken by the Barak MX, which provides a different range of action depending on the used missiles: 35 km (medium), 70 km (large) and 150 km (enlarged), and with regard to MANPADS, priority was given to Piorun.

Image source: topwar.ru

The Polish Piorun took second place, but it has a number of advantages, including offering three times the number of launchers compared to other applications, as well as compatibility with the already used 9K38 Igla system. Therefore, the choice was made in his favor

- the publication says.

Piorun is an upgraded version of the Grom MANPADS, created on the basis of the Soviet "Needle". The Piorun MANPADS is equipped with a new short-range missile with a range from 400 m to 6 km and the ability to hit air targets at altitudes from 10 m to 4 km. It is equipped with a non-contact fuse, which increases its effectiveness in intercepting small-sized threats, including unmanned UAVs.

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