Military Review

Orion in production. For yourself and for export


The first Orion complex transferred to the Aerospace Forces. Photo "Kronstadt"

In the recent past, the Kronstadt group has successfully completed the development and testing of the promising Orion / Pioneer unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV of the new type has been successfully brought to mass production, and the first orders of the Russian army are being fulfilled. In addition, a specialized serial drone plant is under construction and the first foreign buyers are being searched for.

Production success

2014-15 the "Kronstadt" group manufactured several UAVs of a new model for flight and other tests. The tests started in 2015 and continued over the next several years. The experimental equipment was built at the Kronstadt site in Moscow. It has limited capacity and is considered a pilot production facility.

By the beginning of 2020, the experienced Orions have passed the entire cycle of tests at various airfields and training grounds. In addition, experimental military operation was carried out on the basis of one of the units of the Aerospace Forces. Since 2018, the drones have visited Syria several times, where they were engaged in reconnaissance and attacked terrorists. During all these events, the UAVs showed themselves well and were recommended for adoption.

Orion in pilot production. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

In April 2020, it became known that Kronstadt handed over to the Ministry of Defense the first Orion complex with three UAVs and related ground assets. In the near future, the delivery of new complexes was expected for full deployment and development in the army. According to various sources, such plans are being successfully implemented, and the Orions are taking their place in the Aerospace Forces.

However, the full-scale production and mass deliveries of equipment have not yet been reported. This is due to the fact that drones are still being assembled at a pilot production facility in Moscow. This site has certain limitations, and in addition, work is being carried out on it not only on the serial Orion, but also on other promising models.

Expansion of capacities

Obviously, large production capacities are required to fully meet the requirements of domestic customers and to manufacture equipment for export. This year the Kronstadt group took the necessary measures and began construction of a completely new serial plant. In the coming weeks or months, it will begin its work.

UAV on tests. Photo by Rosoboronexport

The construction of a new plant in Dubna began in April. The Kronshtadt company planned to invest about 4 billion rubles in this project. and complete construction by the end of autumn. Accordingly, production launch was expected in November or December. The project provides for the construction of buildings with a total area of ​​45 thousand square meters with all the necessary equipment for the production of individual parts and the assembly of drones. The plant will operate approx. 1500 people

The new enterprise is being built not far from the Dubninsky machine-building plant named after V.I. Fedorov, also a member of the Kronstadt group. According to plans, DMZ will master the manufacture of ground control points for unmanned systems. Due to such cooperation and attracting a lot of subcontractors, it is expected that it will be possible to produce annually dozens of medium and heavy UAVs of various types.

The last time Kronstadt reported on construction work was in mid-October. By that time, the erection of frame structures was completed and the arrangement of facades was coming to an end. Part of the equipment for various purposes was also installed. Work is progressing on schedule, and plans to launch production at the end of the year remain in place.

At the control station. Photo "Kronstadt"

At the same time, a pilot production facility in Moscow is being modernized. By the end of the year, new buildings for various purposes will be commissioned there. They will house a laboratory, aggregate production and assembly of ground vehicles for unmanned systems.

Export prospects

The emergence of the new plant will allow timely fulfillment of orders from the Russian Ministry of Defense, and also creates a reserve of production facilities for the implementation of export contracts. The Kronstadt Group has already begun promoting its drones on the international market, and the first supply agreements should appear in the near future.

The export version of the Orion-E unmanned complex was first shown in 2017 at the Army forum. Just a few days ago, he participated in the Dubai Airshow 2021 and attracted the attention of several potential customers. Following the results of the recent exhibition, the developer company revealed some details of the upcoming military-technical cooperation.

Drone in flight. Photo by Rosoboronexport

The leadership of "Kronstadt" reported that the armies of the Middle East are currently showing the greatest interest in heavy UAVs of Russian design. Some of the states in the region are also ready to establish joint production of equipment. In addition, there is interest from countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

It is noted that Middle Eastern customers have increased requirements for unmanned vehicles, but the company is ready to satisfy them. Such revision of finished projects will not only help to obtain contracts from specific customers, but will also increase the competitiveness of equipment in the international market.

It should be noted that so far we are only talking about attracting the attention of foreign states and armies. Real contracts have not yet been concluded, and the necessary negotiations have not been announced. However, it should be borne in mind that Orion-E was only recently brought to the market, and potential buyers are just getting to know it and decide whether to buy it.

Achievements and plans

Recent ones news about the unmanned complex "Orion" and the situation as a whole are conducive to optimism. The development company has successfully mastered the assembly of such equipment at the existing site and is fulfilling the existing order of the Russian army. At the same time, the construction of new production facilities continues, which will allow increasing the rate of production, and not only for internal customers. At the same time, work is underway not only on Orion, but also on other UAVs of the same or similar classes.

One of the prototypes is being tested. Photo "Kronstadt"

First of all, all these processes and news show the ability of the Russian industry, represented by Kronstadt and its allies, to create and bring to production modern UAVs with high performance, incl. classes new to our country. In addition, it demonstrates the ability to create production facilities quickly enough for the full implementation of new projects.

At the moment, the main task in the context of the Orion project is the completion of construction and the opening of a new plant. The launch of this site is expected in the near future, and over the next few months it will be able to give the first production in the form of serial UAVs. This will be the next success of the most important project and will open the way to new opportunities and achievements.

In general, the prospects for the Orion project and the entire direction of medium and heavy drones are obvious and look optimistic. The equipment of new models will be produced and supplied by our videoconferencing system, and with its help they will receive new opportunities. In addition, foreign orders are expected. And "Orion-E", due to its characteristics and capabilities, is quite capable of taking a noticeable place in the market.
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  1. Xlor
    Xlor 25 November 2021 05: 47
    Interestingly, all the components for it are domestic?
    1. KCA
      KCA 25 November 2021 06: 05
      Of course, like any manufacturer of aviation equipment, titanium is domestic Russian, electronic components are domestic Chinese, etc.
    2. Intruder
      Intruder 25 November 2021 06: 24
      Quote: Xlor
      for him all domestic

      Of course, to the last: a screw and a transistor on a flint plate !!! fellow
    3. dauria
      dauria 25 November 2021 10: 29
      Interestingly, all the components for it are domestic?

      There are much more interesting things. Organizational. Though they will work out at the first stage. And the drones - do not care, even if they are Chinese or Brazilian.
      What subunits or units, to whom they are subordinate (division, army or front), how will the sky be shared with the civilians and the air force, how to relocate on alarm - fly or lead disassembled (and therefore store). Who will write them analogs of NIAS and NPP, which universities will train specialists. Relations with the manufacturer for routine maintenance, modifications, repairs, etc., etc.
      And most importantly - will the cat in the dining room be fed according to the flight rate or as a techie?
      1. bk316
        bk316 25 November 2021 12: 41
        What divisions or units, to whom they are subordinate

        Perhaps this has already been decided. The state defense order has been hanging for a long time, the regulations could have been prepared ...
      2. Dmitry Ivanov_8
        Dmitry Ivanov_8 25 November 2021 13: 23
        It seems that even in the summer it was the fact that the Ministry of Defense is going to open several faculties in its universities specifically for the training of operators and technicians for UAVs,
      3. kebzuref
        kebzuref 25 November 2021 16: 32
        High level sarcasm)
    4. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 25 November 2021 10: 49
      If they are adopted, then at least they are not subject to export restrictions.
      If you look at related industries - composites are produced, "balls" with optics are on helicopters ..... the element base, probably from China ... ICE - ?!
      1. bk316
        bk316 25 November 2021 12: 46
        . element base, probably from China ... ICE - ?!

        What are you all about a kit from China?
        What's Turkish in your favorite TB2? Even composites for a glider are not their own. And this does not prevent it from being exported with might and main. And we need to make 100 pieces for ourselves to begin with.
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 25 November 2021 12: 55
          Well, the Russian Federation does not do everything by itself, and the US does not do everything by itself .... Another thing is the Turks and the United States can produce, use and export this way ... but we do not. SSJ won even to the Ministry of Defense cannot be delivered and sold to Iran ... and this is not a UAV or a fighter. Therefore, ours are poking around
          1. bk316
            bk316 25 November 2021 13: 19
            It's another matter that the Turks and the USA can produce, use and export this way.

            But what about the Canadians to the Turks blocked the production?
            ... and we are not.

            And who will forbid us to use Chinese mikruhi?

            You live in a fictional world ... This is not how it works. Yes, large units must be produced by ourselves, well, like an engine. Yes, if there is something completely unique in the product, for example, a radio-reflective coating, it must be produced by ourselves.
            But microcircuits and in general all standard electronics are completely optional. Moreover, the cost of microelectronics (with the exception of microcircuits such as matrices, processors and controllers) is negligible compared to other parts. Therefore, it can be purchased at once for the entire production, a hundred (or a thousand) UAVs. This has always been done and will continue to do so. If you look inside the EC 1045 rack in Soviet times, half of the mikruhs are not Soviet. If anything earlier, 80% are not Soviet. And nobody cared about it, not even the repairmen. But now the Bloachers are very worried.
            1. Zaurbek
              Zaurbek 25 November 2021 13: 21
              Everyone has their own problems, the Turks deviate from the party line and, behold, they begin to go their own way. South Koreans, for example, continue to cooperate with them on armored vehicles ...
              1. bk316
                bk316 25 November 2021 13: 37
                And, according to your logic, the USA should have the largest ones, because the USA does not produce its own element base, this is done by Taiwan, which is Chinese in five minutes and is EXTREMELY vulnerable militarily.
                1. Zaurbek
                  Zaurbek 25 November 2021 13: 48
                  The United States now owns the entire size of UAVs and owns all the offices that make the significant components. China is fine with it ... but they also have engine problems. But no problem with electronics.
                  1. bk316
                    bk316 25 November 2021 14: 49
                    I have property in all offices

                    Firstly, what is the share if all giants (TSMC for example) are in our PJSC?
                    Second, how does it help when the PRC seizes Taiwan?
                    1. Zaurbek
                      Zaurbek 25 November 2021 14: 54
                      TSMC - I don’t know, but they were obliged and they are currently building a backup in the USA ..... and the PRC has carried out a raider seizure of the AWP unit in the PRC and is now issuing licenses for the process technology to itself. And license holders for chips are almost all in the US.
                    2. Vadim237
                      Vadim237 25 November 2021 16: 14
                      "The Ministry of Industry and Trade will finance the development of domestic equipment for the production of chips in the 130-65 nm topology until 2026, which was considered advanced almost two decades ago. 5,7 billion rubles have been allocated for this purpose, which will go to the Zelenograd Nanotechnological Center" was not found.

                      The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia held a competition for the development of a domestic installation for printing microcircuits on silicon wafers in accordance with technological processes 130-65 nm. The victory in it was won by the only applicant - "Zelenograd Nanotechnological Center" (ZNTC), follows from the tender documentation published on the official website of the Unified Information System in the field of procurement
                      According to the tender documents, the photolithographic machine should consist of a special optical device, including a system for loading photomasks, a camera with high precision temperature stabilization and software (software). The work will be completed in November 2026. The state program "Development of the electronic and radio-electronic industry" was named as the basis for the development work.

                      One of the key components of the equipment should be a domestic laser, ZNTC General Director Anatoly Kovalev explained in a conversation with Kommersant. The company headed by him is considering several partners at once.

                      As the executive director of the Association of Developers and Manufacturers of Electronics Ivan Pokrovsky notes, the 130-65 nm technology, despite its impressive age, is still in demand on the Russian market. It is, in particular, used in the production of modern microcontrollers and peripheral microcircuits. Such semiconductor products are used in automotive electronics, IoT devices (for example, electricity meters), cash register equipment. ”Microprocessors for the military using 65 nm technology can be produced for the military in Russia.
                  2. Oleg Zorin
                    Oleg Zorin 26 November 2021 21: 57
                    The problem is deeper. Only two offices produce 95% of machine tools for the production of components. One in the Netherlands, another in Japan. Without them, production inevitably becomes impossible anywhere. By the way, the current crisis with the production of microchips is connected with this.
                    1. Zaurbek
                      Zaurbek 28 November 2021 16: 54
                      Now specialists from Taiwan, China, South Korea are being bought up ... ... and what is surprising is how much the Russian Federation has lured away ....
  2. KCA
    KCA 25 November 2021 05: 50
    About 25 years ago, there were heated discussions Dubnensky or Dubninsky to write correctly, some clever philologists said that it was right anyway, but still the official name of the legal entity is Dubnensky Machine-Building Plant named after N.P. Fedorov. "Krondstadt" is recruiting workers with might and main now, they say, they have already recruited 1500 employees, this is taking into account the DMZ and new aircraft testers to the new workshop.
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 25 November 2021 06: 26
      scored, this is taking into account the DMZ and new to the new workshop and aircraft testers.
      Ie ...., now we will be able to compete with the masters of the world drone engineering ???
      1. KCA
        KCA 25 November 2021 06: 56
        Now it’s hardly straight now, the plant has not yet been launched and has not released a single drones, even in the air circles, the pioneers of drones on cables did not collect in one week
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 25 November 2021 10: 52
          At the pilot production, they voiced - 3 sets per year .... 1 set of 3 pieces of Orion .... and Kamaz trucks with superstructures
          1. KCA
            KCA 25 November 2021 11: 13
            3 complexes are tears, it is not enough even for training operators, until the plant starts working, the production does not work out, what is the competition with the USA and China. Israel, where built UAVs of this class are in the hundreds?
            1. Zaurbek
              Zaurbek 25 November 2021 11: 32
              Tears, but now they are building the plant ..... they are completing it. And since it is being built, it means that the issue with subcontractors has been resolved.
            2. 1Alexey
              1Alexey 27 November 2021 04: 35
              Quote: KCA
              3 complexes are tears

              In general, you are right and I would like many times more, but, however, do not overestimate the importance of the UAV.
              Of course, they are very effective against weak opponents (such as Armenia), but not very effective against strong ones such as us (Russia), which was once again confirmed by the battles in Syria (both bandit and Turkish UAVs were successfully intercepted).

              And if, according to recent information, we have learned to intercept control over the F-35, then we will be able to cope with the UAV all the more.

              But one cannot but take into account that our opponents are also developing the same systems. UAVs against a strong enemy do not guarantee unequivocal success at all.

              How many articles and comments to them on this site (and not only on this one) I read, I am surprised at the imbalances in the approach to arming our army. If the article is about UAVs - they want more UAVs, if about ships - more cruisers, if about tanks - more Armata, etc. That is, there is no comprehensive approach (the military budget is not infinite), but what is more important for the army from weapons now ?
              For example, I would consider Zircons and S-500 air defense systems more important now than UAVs.

              And, even if the military budget is increased, then the question will arise: what to spend this supplement on.
              It is certainly not realistic to hope that the budget will be enough for all types of weapons in large quantities.
      2. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 25 November 2021 07: 47
        But, you see, a colleague is good news. The first step is still.
        "It didn't all work out right away,
        Moscow was not built in a day...")))
  3. ramzay21
    ramzay21 25 November 2021 07: 32
    Such UAVs should be produced in hundreds a year, and here we are talking about dozens, at such a pace it will not be soon for us to have UAVs commonplace in combat units, unfortunately. But the presence of UAVs in combat units is not enough, you still need to learn and work out their use in the troops, all this has long been in the strongest armies of the world.
    1. Mountain shooter
      Mountain shooter 25 November 2021 08: 47
      Quote: ramzay21
      Such UAVs should be produced in hundreds a year, and here we are talking about dozens, at such a pace it will not be soon for us UAVs to become commonplace in combat units, unfortunately

      Heavy UAVs in combat units are, perhaps, too much!
      Here some used a couple of dozen, and very average - and then they won the war (Karabakh) ...
      There won't be Orion in every battalion ... It's good if the division has a couple of sets. How many divisions do we have?
      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 25 November 2021 11: 06
        Quote: Mountain Shooter

        Heavy UAVs in combat units are, perhaps, too much!

        What does the heavy UAV have to do with it? Orion is at the bottom of the MALE class (middle). Bayraktar TB2 is generally tactical, it does not reach MALE.
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 25 November 2021 11: 35
          Everything is so, but there is already a difference only in the glider and the engine ..... "brains", communications, optics, weapons ... everything is the same. If we take the USA and the EU with their assortment of internal combustion engines, turbojet engines and theaters, then scaling is a garbage question. In the Russian Federation (without Ukrainian facilities and without the possibility of licensing) there is a problem.
  4. riwas
    riwas 25 November 2021 09: 18
    In the recent past, the Kronshtadt group has successfully completed the development and testing of the promising Orion / Pioneer unmanned aerial vehicle.

    Good news, but it is probably necessary to envisage a variant not only of an airfield base. To reduce the reaction time to emerging threats, an attack version with a vertical start and based on the machine is needed. You can, of course, loitering ammunition, but it is more expensive and their range is shorter.
  5. Vdi73
    Vdi73 25 November 2021 10: 35
    It would be nice to have a videoconferencing base in the Caribbean, with drones capable of carrying a "dagger" and "zircon".
    1. Vadim237
      Vadim237 25 November 2021 16: 17
      Most likely, the UAV Hunter will be able to pull both Dagger and Caliber and Zircon - but this is in the future.
      1. Vdi73
        Vdi73 25 November 2021 16: 53
        While the "hunter" is brought to mind and put on stream, the pins will come up with an antidote, but I would like to step on the throat of their AUG right on their shores, purely out of harm and trolling, so that they would wipe their teeth from impotence.
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 28 November 2021 16: 57
          You don't have to sharpen everything for the Yankers. There are many countries around. The hunter is a different topic. This is an aircraft for large wars with air defense, etc.
  6. senima56
    senima56 25 November 2021 11: 27
    ".... the first foreign buyers are being searched ..." hi Oh how! And a few weeks ago, it was immediately announced that foreign customers were almost in line for this UAV! negative
  7. Lucy
    Lucy 25 November 2021 14: 30
    Achievements and plans lol
  8. moreman78
    moreman78 25 November 2021 16: 16
    J [quote = Mountain Shooter] [quote = ramzay21]
    There won't be Orion in every battalion ... It's good if the division has a couple of sets. How many divisions do we have? [/ Quote]
    Now in some brigades - two sets of Orions
  9. Oleg Zorin
    Oleg Zorin 26 November 2021 21: 46
    Let's build a plant for the serial production of devices, then fill our own army with them, and then we can talk about export.
  10. Baloo
    Baloo 29 November 2021 21: 36
    It is wonderful that factories are opening and serial production is being established, and not just a piece experimental assembly. In drones, we are generally making good progress, moreover, in different classes, it would be faster for a stream to fulfill all our army orders, and then for export.