Russia’s “Orion” unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is set to be equipped with electronic warfare systems that will increase the drone’s capability to defend itself in hostile engagements.
In an interview with local news outlet RIA Novosti, Kronshtadt Company Group CEO Sergei Bogatikov called the adding of an onboard defense system a “priority” for the Orion.
Bogatikov explained that the added equipment will serve “both to defend itself against missiles…and to suppress any enemy systems in the interests of other units on the battlefield.”
“This is one of the most important functions of any military unmanned complex today, and we are trying to be in the trend,” he added.
The Kronshtadt Orion
The Kronshtadt Orion was built mainly for reconnaissance missions. Taking its first flight in 2017 and released officially in 2020, fewer than 30 units of the Orion (in all of its variants) have been built thus far.
The drone is currently in service within Russian Ground Forces.
The Orion has a top altitude of 8,000 m (2,624 ft), a maximum flight duration of 24 hours, and a maximum flight speed of 200 kph (124.3 mph).
It has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,000 kg (2,205 lb), and a payload limit of 200 kg (440 lb).