IDEX 2021: Russian Orion-E UCAV breaks cover


The first Russian-made export-oriented unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Orion-E has broken its cover at the IDEX 2021 defense show being held in Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates) between February 21-25.


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 Orion-E, showcased at MAKS-2019  (Picture source: Air Recognition)


During the exhibition, a scale model of the armed Orion-E was showcased at the exhibition of Rostec’s Rosoboronexport company. A representative of the company’s developer, JSC Kronstadt, told the TASS news agency that this was the first-ever demonstration of the vehicle abroad. “The Orion-E is capable of using a large number of air-launched weapons,” he said, adding that the weapon can be attached to the UCAV in various configurations.

According to the representative, the Orion-E is built of Russian-made components only. “The Orion-E cannot be impacted by any sanctions, as the vehicle and its payloads are fully made in Russia,” he said. “The ground control station [GCS] allows operating both combat and reconnaissance UAVs under a single umbrella,” added the representative.

Rosoboronexport is holding consultations with foreign customers on potential deliveries of Orion-E drones, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian state weapon export agency Alexander Mikheev told TASS on Saturday.

"The market at present demonstrates enormous interest in strike and reconnaissance and strike drones. Rosoboronexport is already offering Orion-E aircraft of this class to foreign customers now and is holding a range of consultations on their supplies," Mikheev said.

The Orion-E is the medium-altitude long-range drone, with the maximal takeoff weight of 1 tonne and the payload cap of 200 kg. Its ceiling is 7.5 km. The maximum duration of flight with the standard load is 24 hours and the velocity is up to 200 km per hour.


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