Russia’s Orion-E UAV Crashes During Test Flight

Russia’s Orion-E unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has crashed near a residential area close to the Protasovo Airfield in Russia’s Ryazan Region.

Kronshtadt Group will help investigate the crash of the unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Orion near a residential area in Russia’s Ryazan Region, the company, which has developed and produced the drone, told TASS on Saturday.

“An inquiry into the accident in the Ryazan Region has been set up. Kronshtadt Group will assist in the investigation,” a spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, Sergei Bubenev, a major case detective of the Russian Investigative Committee’s Moscow transport investigative department, told TASS that the Orion drone had crashed near a residential area of the town of Listvyanka in the Ryazan Region.

Orion-E is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class UAV developed by Russia’s Kronstadt Group. It was unveiled at the MAKS 2017 Airshow.

The UAV has a wingspan of 16 m, a height of 3 m, and is 8 m long. Load-carrying structures and covers were reportedly made from composite materials.

The UAV is claimed to have a horizontal flight speed of 120-200 km/h, a maximum endurance of 24 hours (with standard payload), a ceiling of 24,600 ft, and a flight range of 250-300 km. The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is stated as 1 tonne, with a standard payload capacity of 200 kg.

The Orion drone had reportedly entered trial service with the Russian Aerospace Force.

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