A video released by Russia’s VGTRK news channel has shown off its new Orion drone completing armed combat tests in Syria. The drone has continued to be tested over the last few months as it is prepared for service.
The video first discusses the country’s Hunter-B Killer drone that will fly alongside crewed fighter jets to create an invisible line of defense in the sky wherever they go. The video then moves onto another drone before showing us the Orion drone.
The Orion drone comes into the frame with the payload it is carrying being blurred out. This is reportedly due to the classified nature of the new munitions. The drone can be seen taking off on a Syrian mission and shortly after hitting a target.
After the presenter talks about the Orion drone for a few minutes, the video then switches over to the much smaller Orlan-10E reconnaissance drone.
During the Army 2020 conference earlier this year, the Ministry of Defense and the company behind the drones, the Kronstadt Group, signed a deal that saw the first drones sent over to the test and evaluation field back in April.
The head of the Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, has already shared that the first lot of Orion drone control stations had already made their way to the Russian Space Force. The drone has also appeared in the space force’s 2021 calendar, suggesting it will be put to use right away.
The Kronshtadt Orion drone is manufactured by the Kronstadt Group to carry up to four missiles totaling 200 kg. The drone has a cruising speed of 75 mph and can fly for 24 hours on a single tank. There are currently three versions of the drone, the Orion, Orion E (export model), and the Orion-2, also known as Helios.
The Orion-2 is a larger version of the original drone and allows for a larger payload. It is a high-altitude drone compared to the medium-altitude Orion. It was first showed off on August 27 and is expected to take flight in 2023 for the first time.
Photo: Nickel nitride