MOSCOW, BM, ($1=72.30 Russian Rubles) – Russia intends to start offering on the international markets the combat version of its drone Kronshtadt Orion-E, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a statement by the Russian company Rosoboronexport. Until now, Moscow has been trying to sell only the reconnaissance version of the drone.
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According to information from the company, there is already interest from “foreign clients”, but it is not specified who they are. Also, according to them, the first expected deliveries outside Russia are expected at the end of this and the beginning of next year. Perhaps proof of existing orders is the fact that the drone manufacturer Kronshtadt has opened a brand new plant in Dubna.
The advantages pointed out by Russia for its Orion-3 drone are that it is cheaper, more efficient, and of better quality, and these three advantages will make it “the best offer on the market and turn it into “a killer” of competing drones, including Bayraktar,” Rosoboronexport said in a press release.
According to the pre-provided characteristics, Orion-E (“E” is an export version – ed.) Can hit moving and stationary targets, armored vehicles, as well as enemy manpower. It is equipped with unguided and corrective air bombs and guided missiles. Additionally, the unmanned aerial vehicle is technically equipped with various types of high-resolution cameras. The drone weighs nearly 200 kg and has a maximum useful decoction of 250 kg.
Orion’s first flight was made in 2017 and was officially presented by the Russians in 2020. This drone is already in service in Russian military units. We remind you that Orion has passed real combat tests in Syria.
Orion-E can reach speeds of 200 km / h and stay in the air for 24 hours. The maximum flight altitude is within 7.5 km.
The Turkish Bayraktar TB-2 is three years older than Orion-E. But the history of the Turkish drone is richer than that of the Russian, and it has performed brilliantly against Russian mobile anti-aircraft missile systems such as the Pantsir-S1 in Libya and Syria. If we compare the main indicators of the two drones, we will notice that Bayraktar also has an advantage – longer flight (27 hours), higher speed (220 km / h).
If we compare the combat performance of Orion-E and Bayraktar TB-2, the Russian drone has an advantage – an operational range of 250 km of destruction against only 150 km of the Turkish drone, equalized cruising speed (130 km / h), but more -a lower payload of the Turkish drone (150 kg) compared to its Russian competitor (250 kg). This means that Russia’s Orion-E may be better and more armed than Turkey’s Bayraktr TB-2, a fact that some countries would consider an advantage.
As we wrote earlier, the Russians conducted combat tests some time ago through various combat missions in Syria. The Russian version of Orion is also currently used in Syria. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Orion has a total of just under 40 missions in Syria, of which 17 have been hit by terrorists and their positions.
However, in recent years, Russia has been heavily hiding detailed information about the performance of its drones in Syria. However, the Pentagon provides more information about the actions of the Russians in Syria than the Russians themselves. The Americans say the Russians have flown more than 23,000 drones over Syria for a total of 140,000 flight hours. And these data are only until mid-2018.
This fact, the report says, is proof that Russia is beginning to invest heavily in the autonomy of its weapons systems. Robotic machines are Russia’s future, and they understand that very well.
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