St Petersburg-based Kronstadt Group, a subsidiary of Joint-Stock Financial Corporation Sistema, has developed a combat variant of the Orion-E medium-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a source from the company said, according to news outlet If24.ru.
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-Es 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 UAV in the company’s portfolio. The vehicle is reported to have an 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. The new drone’s 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.