Russia Offers Orion-E Combat Drone for Export
Russia has begun offering its Orion-E combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for export after years of only allowing sales of the reconnaissance version, RIA Novosti reported.
The outlet further revealed that the drone has attracted the interest of many overseas buyers, with developers receiving an increasing number of inquiries.
“Russian export company Rosoboronexport and developer Kronstadt have begun promoting an unmanned complex with an Orion aircraft in a strike version, equipped with a universal weapon system, on the world arms market,” RIA quoted a source as saying.
“Proposals for the supply of the Orion were sent to a number of foreign customers who may require strike vehicles of this class, and several applications have been received from potential buyers.”
Competing With Turkish Bayraktar
Deliveries of the UAV will begin at the end of this year or early next year after the developer, Kronstadt, readies its drone production plant in Dubna.
The outlet further wrote, citing sources, that the Orion-E will provide tough competition with drones such as Turkey’s Bayraktar, and is likely to take a slice of its market share.
The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,150 kg (2,535 lb) and can carry a payload of up to 200 kg (440 lb).
The Orion-E can fly at a maximum speed of 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour with a maximum altitude of seven kilometers (four miles), according to the outlet.
Orion-E’s weapons include unguided and corrected aerial bombs, as well as various guided missiles.
Tested in Syria
The Russian armed forces recently deployed the aircraft for reconnaissance and anti-terrorist strikes in Syria as part of their tests, RIA Novosti wrote.
During the tests, the Orion-E was equipped with a “modernized wearable complex of intelligence, command and communications Strelets-M,” striking targets with a “high rate of efficiency and accuracy” in real-time.