The Russian defense industry has recovered nicely from its dark ages following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The country has made considerable headway in the field of 5th Generation Fighters, advanced bomber concepts, infantry small arms, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Its ongoing war with neighboring Ukraine has given Russia an active battlefield for which to test its various new developments - case-in-point being the STC Orlan-10, an Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance-minded (ISR) UAV which is known to have been used in the War in Donbass.
The Orland-10 operates through the A-95 series gasoline-fueled engine. it is launched by way of catapult (rail) and retrieved through a simply parachute delivery operation. The aircraft can reach speeds nearing 150 kph and can remain airborne for up to 16 hours, delivering data in real-time to operators on the ground out to ranges of 600 kilometers. The system operates at an altitude of about 5,000 meters. Its take-off weight is 15 kilograms and the aircraft can carry a payload of sensors and optics weighing 6 kilograms.
Its outward design is conventional as fixed-wing UAVs go. The fuselage makes up its length with the motor fitted to the nose section driving a two-bladed propeller unit. The wing mainplanes are shoulder-mounted over the fuselage ahead of midships. The tail unit incorporates a simple single-finned arrangement with two low-mounted horizontal planes. Since the drone is rail-launched and parachute-recovered, no complex undercarriage is needed in its operation. The aircraft is transported in a hard case and assembled prior to launching. This involves connecting main and tail planes to the fuselage and adjusting any payload options. The catapult rail system also requires some light assembly.
As stated, the Orlan-10 series has been actively used in the fighting in Donbass between Russian elements and Ukrainian Army forces. Several have been claimed downed by Ukrainian forces since its use in the region began in - or around - 2014.
October 2018 - Ukrainian forces have claimed the downing of a Russian Orlan-10 UAV by a Ukrainian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter over the Donbas region near Lysychansk. This was reported on October 15th, 2018.
July 2022 - The Orlan-30 has been unveiled, showcasing a range of up to 300 km flying at speeds of 170 kmh. The system is designed to be used in conjunction with attack aircraft, mobile artillery systems, and static artillery stations against both moving and stationary targets.
July 2022 - Myanmar has been revealed to be the first Orlan-10 UAV customer.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
20 lb (9 kg)
33 lb (15 kg)
+13 lb (+6 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base STC Orlan-10 production variant)
monoplane / shoulder-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base STC Orlan-10 production variant)
1 x A-95 gasoline-fueled engine driving a two-bladed engine in the nose.
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