Shoigu in Dubna showed the ultra-long drone “Orion”

The minister set tasks for the defense industry to develop drones

On January 27, the head of the Russian military department, Sergei Shoigu, visited the newest enterprise producing Orion military drones. The plant was built in the science city of Dubna. Together with Shoigu, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and the governor of the Moscow region Andrey Vorobyov visited the plant in Dubna.

The need for drones in the Russian army is great. As recent wars and conflicts have shown, strike drones can become weapons of victory. This was the case, for example, in the Karabakh war.

Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

The reconnaissance and strike drone “Orion” produced in Dubna – the heaviest of those that are in service with the Russian army. Its mass – over a ton. It has been tested in Syria, including as a carrier of adjustable bombs. They say that the terrorists did not like this weapon.

The Minister of Defense was informed at the plant that they had succeeded in significantly increasing the flight range of the Orions. This is done through the use of satellite navigation. In this case, the drone will be able to operate outside the zone of direct radio visibility of the ground control point, that is, at a distance of hundreds of kilometers.

Shoigu praised the new plant. He instructed the defense industry to create capacities to service those drones that the army bought, including service directly in the troops by mobile production teams. “They must arrive there, serve,” the minister said.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the military has already ordered from the industry new unmanned systems “Sirius”, drones of the Helios-RLD radar patrol, and also the Grom fast attack drone. 

Photo: Press Service of the Ministry of Defense

Commenting on Shoigu's visit to the drone factory, Denis Fedutinov, a leading expert in the field of unmanned systems, told MK:

– Ten years ago, in the tender of the Ministry of Defense of Russia for the creation of a medium-altitude unmanned system of long duration flight “Pacer” (“Orion”) was won by the company “Transas” – now “Kronstadt”. A lot has been done in ten years. The advanced design bureau is staffed with qualified personnel. It is capable, as Shoigu was told today, & nbsp; simultaneously conduct several major works on unmanned vehicles. There is a high-tech pilot production, a modern flight test complex has been built.

In a word, a large-scale production base has been created, “embroidering” the last bottleneck in the life cycle work chain. This became a relevant decision against the backdrop of the start of orders for the supply of serial systems. The Ministry of Defense of Russia, obviously, would like to receive in a fairly short time a significant number of positively proven by the results of the Syrian company “Inohodtsev”, and in the future even heavier drones. Now there is hope that the industry will fulfill all the orders of our military, and our Russian army will finally receive the required number of attack drones that are in the leading armies of the world – Americans, Chinese, Turks.

According to the Minister of Defense at the plant, the next step after the start of production of “Orions” – helicopter and deck drones, as well as the development of weapons for drones.

The Helios-RLD, a promising radar reconnaissance drone, will make its first flight in 2024. Preliminary design is currently underway.

In the same schedule, work on the high-speed drone “Grom” is underway. Its purpose is to break through the air defense in depth.

Heavy attack drone “Sirius” will perform its first flight in May 2022. Shoigu was informed that flight samples were being manufactured. It is planned to complete flight tests at the end of the year. Start of deliveries to the troops – 2023 This is a further development of the Orion drones. The device will have two engines, increased takeoff weight. According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces, General Surovikin, the range of the new device is 3 thousand km.


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