The Orion-E MALE drone in the reconnaissance/strike configuration will for the first time be unveiled at the major international expo and for the first time in the Middle East at the Dubai Airshow 2021 on 14th November.
According to Orion-E’s developer and producer the Kronshtadt company, it will be the first-ever demonstration of the Russian combat UAV at the major international airshow, the first demonstration of Orion-E’s weapons abroad, and the first presentation of the Orion-E on the Middle East.
The Orion-E MALE drone will be presented on the unified Russian exposition organized by Rosoboronexport along with the Kalashnikov’s Vikhr guided missile and the aerial bomb. The Kronshtadt is also to show in Dubai its new automated workplace for UAV group operations that’s never been previously shown at any exhibition.
The Orion-E is intended for performing missions in a wide range of climate zones: destruction of small stationary, mobile and moving objects, military equipment and enemy manpower; air patrolling of designated areas; maritime border guard and patrol; evaluation of a strikes impact; topographical survey; terrain mapping in the radar range; detection of surface and above-water radiocontrast targets; etc.
The maximum take-off weight is 1.1 t, the maximum payload weight is 250 kg. The maximum flight duration is 30 hours, and the speed is up to 200 km/h. From one ground control point up to 4 UAVs can be simultaneously controlled, says the official presentation. The Orion-E is equipped with replaceable payloads based on modular principle, including the sensor payloads for the ISR mission.
The drone can carry ordnance with the maximum weight 200 kg under three hardpoints: two are under the wing consoles and one is under the fuselage. Laser-, satellite- and TV-guided air weapons, carried can be used.
Currently drones are in hot demand around the Middle East and African, drones acquisitions increased sharply in the past few years in this region, thus, the Orion-E will have to compete with established suppliers like China and France.
China may have a cost advantage by lowering the price tag, but such low costs drones especially export versions are often suffer from poor after-sales services as well as quality problems in sensors and guided ammunition.
However, the Orion-E advantages that it is fitted with a satellite communication (SATCOM) system that provides application and data exchange with the UAV at unlimited distance from the GCS, thus boosting its range.
The open architecture simplifies implementation of payloads and other customer requirements. At the ARMY 2021 expo the Kronshtadt announced its readiness to localize the production of the UAVs abroad.
A new Kronshtadt production facility will open in Dubna near Moscow by the end of 2021 will be able to roll out tens of drones annually, Company CEO Sergey Bogatikov told TASS on Monday.