Russian Kronstadt Group details Orion-E UAV Russia`s Kronstadt Group, a subsidiary of Joint-Stock Financial Corporation Sistema, has developed a combat variant of the Orion-E medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a source from the company said.
Orion-E UAV (Picture source: Kronstadt Group) The modified Orion-E has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,000 kg and can carry a maximum payload of 200 kg, including four 50-kg aerial bombs. "In the baseline configuration, the UAV carries one 50-kg guided bomb unit," the source said. It should be mentioned that Kronstadt has developed its own guided bomb unit for the Orion-E in order to maximize the combat performance of the vehicle. The Orion-E`s optoelectronic station features two thermal imagers, a wide-angle TV camera and 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 added. The updated Orion-E also has a maximum flight altitude of 7,500 m, a range of 250 km and an endurance of 24 hours. Kronstadt is also developing an advanced Orion-E UAV that is called Orion-2. The Orion-2 will be the first high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV in the company`s portfolio. The vehicle is reported to have a MTOW of 5,000 kg, a maximum flight altitude of 12,000 m and a speed of 350 km/h. "The HALE UAV will be able to carry a 1,000 kg payload. Its range will be increased to more than 5,000 km, with endurance exceeding 24 hours," the source said. According to him, the development of the Orion-2 will be finished in 2020-2021.