Back in October 2020, video footage was released showing the first Orion-1 long-flight duration reconnaissance UAV, developed by the Russian company Kronstadt.
It was shown in a lengthy video, showing off other UAVs, alongside it.
The isolated footage of the Orion-1 is below, with a Russian voiceover by the developer company:
An important feature of this device is that it has passed the entire cycle of state tests and is ready for mass production, in addition to its first unit being delivered to the Armed Forces.
All other UAVs, which, perhaps, in theory have even better combat characteristics, are still under development or testing. The “Orion-1” is ready for battle.
There is also a strike drone version of it called the Orion-3.
The Orion belongs to the class of medium UAVs and occupies a niche between the large S-70 Okhotnik and small reconnaissance aircraft.
It features a gasoline engine with a capacity of about 100 horsepower, which is located at the rear of the fuselage. Due to the use of composite materials in the structure, the drone, which is quite impressive in size, weighs only about a ton. The maximum height is 7,500 meters, its speed is 200 kilometers per hour. The flight is controlled by an operator via a radio channel, the signal range is 250 kilometers.
Its characteristics are very good. Maximum takeoff weight – 1000 kg, payload weight – up to 200 kg. The flight duration is 24 hours.
Its typical armament consists of guided aerial bombs weighing 20 and 50 kilograms with a folding wing, which allows them to glide exactly to the target. Also in the arsenal are KAB-20 corrected bombs, small-sized missiles.
The UAV control center includes the commander station, drone control operators and payload control operators. Everything was initially designed so that there was no need to use professional pilots. Takeoff and landing are also carried out automatically, the operators make sure that an emergency does not arise, and, if necessary, can stop takeoff or give the command to go around when landing.
It is noteworthy that the landing system has three distinct work modes.
The first is satellite navigation, the so-called “peaceful” method. But in wartime, satellites can be disabled, disabled, or drowned out. In this case, there is a second system – radar. For Orion, a special two-band landing radar has been developed, which has already been repeatedly used in practice in extreme conditions – the UAV was tested in Syria. The third landing system is laser, in case there is a powerful jamming for the radar system.
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