Air Platforms

Kronshtadt weaponises Orion-E UAV, outlines HALE UAV development

26 September 2018

A mock-up of the Orion-E medium-altitude long-endurance UAV showcased in Moscow. Source: Nikolai Novichkov

Russia’s Kronshtadt Group, a subsidiary of Joint-Stock Financial Corporation Sistema, has unveiled a strike-capable variant of the Orion-E medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV).

The weaponised Orion-E was showcased with a new 50 kg guided missile developed by the company.

“It is a demonstrator of a smart munition for the Orion, and its weight can be increased to 100 kg,” a company source told Jane’s . “Thus, a single UAV can carry four 50 kg or two 100 kg munitions.

“In the baseline configuration, the UAV carries one 50 kg weapon,” the source added.

The Orion-E has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,000 kg and can carry a payload of 200 kg. It has a maximum flight altitude of 7,500 m, a range of 250 km, and an endurance of 24 hours.

The air vehicle’s electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) turret features two thermal imagers, wide-angle TV camera, as well as a laser rangefinder/target designator.

“This suite can be augmented by additional sensors, including an electronic intelligence system, high-resolution photo camera, or radar,” the source explained.

The air vehicle can be disassembled and transported – along with its technical support systems – in a container.

Jane’s has learnt that Kronshtadt Group is developing a more advanced version of the Orion-E UAV, which is designated Orion-2.

The Orion-2 will be the first high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAV in the company’s portfolio. The air vehicle is understood to have a MTOW of 5,000 kg, a maximum flight altitude of 12,000 m, and a speed of 350 km/h.

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