UAV "Orion" is a military drone, reconnaissance and drone drone for long duration flight. The Orion is being developed for the Russian Aerial Forces, the Navy and the Special Forces. Moreover, it has a civilian modification. It's military characteristrics are classified, however, some basic civilian data was shared by the developers of the drone.
The Orion UAV is classified as a medium-long duration aerial vehicle. It is assumed that the maximum duration of its flight is not less than 24 hours, while it can fly at a maximum altitude of about 8,000 meters. According to the project of the drone, Orion's weight should be about 1 ton. In 2015, the former president of Transas Group Nikolai Lebedev revealed data on the drone's characteristics at the MAKS 2015 airshow. The UAV's takeoff weight increased to 1,200 kg, while its payload weight is 300 kg. According to some, it may work at least 24 hours at altitudes up to 8000 meters.
The first image of a new Russian reconnaissance drone was apparently captured by a satellite, RIA Novosti reported 05 March 2017. The image of the drone was spotted on the Terraserver website specializing in aerial and satellite imagery. The image was of the Gromov Flight Research Institute's taxi lane in the Moscow region. The organization is an important Russian aircraft test base and scientific research center in the city of Zhukovsky.
Russian expert in unmanned aerial vehicles Denis Fedutinov told Sputnik that the drone on the image is supposedly new Russian Orion drone. "This is the most probable option based on the size and the configuration of the aircraft, as well as due to reports that the test-flights of this unmanned aerial vehicle started this time in this Flight Research Institute," Fedutinov claimed.
In 2013-2015, the company revealed a layout of the Orion, which had a two-boon aircraft design with a high-wing placement and the tail in the form of an inverted V. Meanwhile, the UAV on the satellite image looks more like the US Reaper drone with a V-shaped tail, a longer wing and with an engine on the tail-end. According to Fedutinov, the appearance of the UAV in the satellite image differs from that which was shown at exhibitions, including the MAKS international airshow.
In May 2016, RIA Novosti reported that the test-flights of the drone began. The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract for the development of the drone with the Russian Kronshtadt company. Work on the creation of UAVs "Orion" in the framework of research and development work (R & D) "pacer" is part of the AFC "System" Company "Kronstadt" (called the "Transas" until 2017). "Orion", developed by the company "Kronstadt", included in the AFC "System" refers to the class of medium-large machines flight duration.
UAV "Orion" provides information to determine the coordinates of objects on a time scale close to real and is designed for air patrols, additional exploration of ground objects in order to ensure target designation and adjustment of fire, assessment of the results of strikes and topographic reconnaissance.
Armament was tested in 2018. "With the UAV, the Orion was tested on aerial bombs. It happened last year," a TASS source in the military-industrial complex said. He did not specify what brand of ammunition in question. The interlocutor added that Orion was also tested in Syria, but without armament, but as an intelligence apparatus.
In 2017, at the military-technical forum "Army-2017", OKB Aviaavtomatika LLC presented a line of aircraft weapons for UAVs from three types of ammunition weighing 25-50 kg. The family of ammunition is built on a modular principle with a single constructive base. The developer’s stated launch range is up to 100 km. At the same time, it was reported that ammunition participated in tests on one of the "large" domestic UAVs.
Already at the Army-2018 forum, the Kronstadt group also demonstrated the Orion control unit for weapons and a prototype of its own design of mass up to 50 kg. In December 2018, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, at an extended meeting of the Defense Ministry’s collegium, announced that medium-range reconnaissance-strike drones would begin to enter the army in 2019. Later, on the TV channel "Star", the Deputy Minister of War Alexei Krivoruchko clarified that in 2019, Orion would begin to enter the troops directly.
For the first time, the Kronstadt group presented the Russian Orion-E unmanned aerial reconnaissance system (CWR) abroad. The premiere will be held at the international aviation and maritime exhibition LIMA 2019 in Malaysia, held from 26 to 30 March 2019, the Kronstadt press service said. "The air reconnaissance complex (CWR) Orion-E, developed and manufactured by the Kronstadt group, will become the basis of the company's exposition at the international exhibition of aerospace and naval equipment LIMA," the company's press service reported.
Also at the stand of the Kronstadt group will be presented the software and hardware developments of the company for the unmanned industry. A number of meetings of representatives of the Group with official delegations of foreign countries and enterprises are expected.
The reconnaissance UAV "Orion-E" is the first in Russia aerial reconnaissance complex with an unmanned aerial vehicle of long duration of flight, corresponding to the international classification MALE class (medium-altitude long-endurance - medium-high, long duration of flight). The tasks of the complex are aerial reconnaissance and patrolling, determination of the coordinates of ground and surface objects, topographic survey of the terrain. The maximum take-off weight of the Orion-E is 1 ton, the maximum payload mass is 200 kg. "Orion-E" is the first drone class MALE, fully developed in Russia and built from domestic components. The duration of its flight is 24 hours.
The Kronshtadt group of companies built the first in Russia plant for the production of serial attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Dubna. It will annually produce dozens of vehicles, and the production of drones for export will start in 2022. The launch of the plant is scheduled for November 2021. At the first stage, the new production will ensure the annual production of several dozen Orion drones in reconnaissance and strike versions. The construction of the first Russian plant specializing in the serial production of attack drones began in Dubna near Moscow in April 2021. The production will be environmentally friendly and noiseless, its total area will be 45 thousand square meters. By JMuly 2021 the Kronstadt group of companies had already begun recruiting personnel for the new site. In total, about 1,500 people will need to be recruited, 500 of whom must be recruited within the next months. The enterprise believes in terms of price-quality-board intellectualization, Orion-E export drones will become one of the best offers on the international market. Such complexes, called "Pacing", are supplied to the Russian army and have been used for air strikes against terrorists in Syria.
|Maximum load||350 kg||350 kg|
|Maximum weight||1100 kg||1200 kg.|
|Speed||250 km / h||250 km / h.|
|Maximum flight height||8000 m||5700 m.|
|Length of track||800 m|
|Flight duration||up to 24 hours||60 hours|
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