Russia accepts first Orion UAVs

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has accepted its first three Orion long-range medium- to high-altitude unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) from the Kronstadt Group.

Representatives from the Russian MoD and Kronstadt Group signed the acceptance certificate for the type on April 20. The UCAV will be operated by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the type will now undergo a phase of operational trials.

Orion UAV [Kronstadt Group] #1
The Orion UCAV in flight. Kronstadt Group

Nikolai Dolzhenkov, the company’s chief designer, said: “The act of technical acceptance and transfer of the [platform] has been signed. There are financial nuances that need to be completed so that the contract is de jure closed. Technically, everything has been decided and verified: the planes were flown, the equipment was checked.”

The Orion platform has a maximum speed of 124mph (200km/h), a service ceiling of 24,606ft (7,500m) and can be equipped with a full payload, weighing up to 440lbs (200kg). The aircraft can operate for 24 hours with a standard load.