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Orion, the Russian Drone: Ready for Action

Orion is the Russian Army’s first multi-functional reconnaissance and strike UAV. It’s passed several stringent tests and performed successfully in military operations in Syria. Work on the drone began in 2011, its first time in the air was in 2016, and in April 2020, it entered service with the Russian Army. In terms of its size and capabilities, Orion can be compared with the American MQ-1C Grey Eagle and the Israeli Hermes 900. Orion’s mission was to conduct aerial reconnaissance day and night in different climates, from the Arctic to the desert. Today, it is used for surveillance and has a strike capability.

Orion solves many tasks autonomously. Almost no operator intervention is required. Taxiing, take-off and landing are carried out automatically, without any human control. Data from Orion is received in real-time and stored onboard. In Soviet times, the building of unmanned aircraft was a priority. UAVs were created in the design bureaus of Tupolev, Yakovlev and others. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a considerable part of the technology was lost. In modern Russia, almost all components and systems and materials for drones had to be developed from scratch. As a result, Russia lagged behind the world leaders but is catching up fast.

Learn more about Orion and its prospects in our story.