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Kronstadt Orion-E - Russia, 2023

Detailing the development and operational history of the Kronstadt Orion-E Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

 Entry last updated on 7/24/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Kronstadt Orion-E  
Picture of Kronstadt Orion-E

The Orion-E from Kornstadt Technologies is another in-development unmanned aircraft product set to come out of Russia.

Unlike the United States, Russia has struggled to find standardization and a growing reliance on Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). There have been several notable concepts put forth - including VTOL-capable (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) models - but few have materialized into viable in-service solutions for its Air Force, Army and Navy services. Kronstadt intends to change all that with their proposed Predator-class "Orion-E" MALE UAV displayed at MAKS 2017.

Little concrete information is available on the Orion-E as of this writing (2017) but a flyable prototype is known to be in existence. Construction is said to incorporate composites for robustness and as a weight-savings measure and specifications of the system include an overall length of 26.25 feet with a wingspan measuring over 50 feet. Its maximum payload capability is up to 440 pounds.

Outwardly the Orion-E utilizes a long, slender fuselage containing the mission equipment, avionics suite, fuel stores and engine installation. An optics system is mounted in blister form under the aircraft's "chin". The engine appears to drive a multi-bladed propeller at the rear of the fuselage in a "pusher" arrangement (as in the Predator series). The wing mainplanes, set amidships, are straight in their design and feature clipped tips. Instead of a traditional tail unit, a V-style arrangement is used (as in the Reaper UAV) to dually serve as vertical and horizontal stabilizers. The wheeled tricycle undercarriage appears to be fixed during flight (non-retracting).

Beyond its attempt to secure Russian military interest, Kronstadt will also eye its Orion-E for the export market with the help of a second party. it is assumed that the Orion E will be an unarmed product suitable for Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) over-battlefield roles.

Kronstadt Orion-E Specifications

Service Year: 2023
Type: Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
National Origin: Russia
Manufacturer(s): Kronstadt Technologies - Russia
Total Production: 1

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 0
Overall Length: 26.25 feet (8 meters)
Overall Width: 52.49 feet (16.00 meters)
Overall Height: 6.56 feet (2.00 meters)

Weight (Empty): 1,102 lb (500 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 2,205 lb (1,000 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 1 x Engine of unknown make, model and output power.

Maximum Speed: 121 knots (140 mph; 225 kph)
Maximum Range: 378 nautical miles (435 miles; 700 km)
Service Ceiling: 24,606 feet (7,500 meters; 4.66 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

None. Mission equipment to be centered on various optics and sensor fits. Payload capacity of up to 200 kilograms.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Russia (possible)

Model Variants

Orion-E - Base Series Name.

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