Military Review

Intelligence and adjustment: UAV "Orlan-10" in the Special Operation


Disassembled "Orlan-10" in a shipping container

Since 2010, the Russian army has been using the Orlan-10 multifunctional light-class unmanned aerial vehicles. Equipment of this type can carry various payloads and perform the tasks of aerial reconnaissance, target detection, fire adjustment, etc. During the Special Military Operation, Orlanov-10 crews work almost around the clock and help other units solve their problems.

Special operation

Since the end of February, the Ministry of Defense has been regularly publishing videos of the use of various weapons on enemy targets. Filming of the terrain, the target and the process of its destruction is carried out from the air with the help of reconnaissance drones. Most often, the Orlan-10 product acts as such a means of objective control.

On March 30, the Ministry of Defense spoke about the use of such equipment and the work of its calculations. The agency reports that unmanned systems are on constant combat duty. Calculations carry out launches of their aircraft and solve assigned tasks in different conditions, incl. with active electronic countermeasures from the enemy. Departures are carried out almost around the clock.

Assembly and installation on the launcher

The main task of "Orlanov-10" is to conduct reconnaissance at tactical depth in the interests of different branches of the military. According to such reconnaissance, strikes are planned and corrected, and the actions of the troops are coordinated. UAVs also monitor humanitarian processes. They monitor the safety of convoys with humanitarian aid and exit corridors for civilians.

Single episode

The Ministry of Defense also released a video on the use of reconnaissance UAVs and the work of their crews. The video demonstrates the process of preparing the drone for a flight, its launch and flight. Also shown are the operators of the complex at work and the process of visual reconnaissance using optical-electronic means. Real enemy objects, filmed during one of the sorties, got into the frame.

The commander of the complex spoke about one of the recent episodes of combat work. His crew received a call to conduct reconnaissance of one of the nearest settlements, and the UAV was sent to a given area. With the help of standard drone optics, the operator examined the area and found enemy artillery systems. Due to the presence of masking, the search process took approx. 20 minutes.

The operator determined the coordinates of the guns and transmitted the data to a higher command post. Soon a new task came from there: Orlan-10 was supposed to correct artillery fire. Our gunners managed to hit one of the enemy vehicles. The rest at the same time left the position and tried to leave, but the UAV continued to follow them. Thanks to this, it was possible to identify a reserve position, which was hit again - again with correction from the air.

The device is ready to start

The enemy managed to withdraw part of the equipment from the shelling and again tried to hide. However, at the next stop, its coordinates were again determined and transferred to the artillery. Russian receiver and jet systems delivered the final blow and destroyed the remnants of the unit. The entire sortie for the purpose of searching, tracking, adjusting, etc. took about 3-4 hours and ended with the expected result.

Talking about this sortie, the commander of the complex praised the equipment and his subordinates. In addition, he expressed confidence that the following combat missions would also be successfully completed.

Technical potential

Unmanned aviation the Orlan-10 complex was developed by the Special Technology Center enterprise. Since 2010, it has been mass-produced and massively supplied to the troops. According to various sources, up to several thousand UAVs of this type have been produced to date, and they are the most massive and basic examples of their class in our army.

The main element of the complex is the Orlan-10 aircraft type, built according to the normal aerodynamic configuration. A product with a wingspan of more than 3 m and a mass of 14 kg is capable of carrying up to 5 kg of payload. For ease of use, the device is made collapsible and fits into a container of limited dimensions. The UAV is equipped with a gasoline engine, with which it can reach speeds of up to 130-150 km/h. Flight duration - 15-16 hours.

Optical station

The launch of the drone is carried out from the catapult installation. The flight takes place automatically according to a predetermined program or under the control of an operator. Landing is carried out using a parachute and a balloon under the bottom. The possibility of working on ships was worked out - in this case, the returning UAV is caught with a special net.

The main payload of Orlanov is a stabilized optoelectronic station with day, night and rangefinder channels. Also, the UAV can be equipped with a jamming station - in this configuration it is used in the Leer-3 electronic warfare complex. It was reported about the development of a compact radio intelligence station.

The operator console is equipped with a monitor and a gamepad-type control panel. There are also data processing facilities and a communication system. The station supports two-way communication with the UAV via a secure channel, which provides the transmission of commands, pictures from the camera and telemetry. Range - 120 km.

The operator station of the complex can control up to four UAVs simultaneously. Stations can be networked and manage dozens of devices. In addition, the station is integrated into the Unified Tactical Command System, which simplifies and speeds up the issuance of intelligence data to a command post or firepower.

Operators at work

Unmanned practice

The Orlan-10 complex has been in operation for almost 12 years. During this time, he fully showed his capabilities and proved himself well in solving various problems. Such equipment is regularly used in various exercises, and in addition, it was used as part of two full-fledged military operations - in Syria and in Ukraine.

First of all, the Orlan-10 UAV has established itself as a successful and convenient platform for payloads. It has a fairly high flight performance, corresponding to the tasks ahead. In particular, the device has a limited speed and is able to stay in the air for up to 16 hours, continuously working. At the same time, it is difficult for the enemy to detect him, take him on escort and hit him.

An important advantage is the ability to carry different payloads. First of all, these are optical-electronic stations. Most often, the Orlans are equipped with precisely such devices that enable them to detect ground / surface targets and determine their coordinates. Data from the payload is transmitted in real time to the operator. The communication channel is protected from interception and suppression, which increases the overall efficiency.

The potential of the Orlan-10 UAV in reconnaissance configuration is perfectly revealed in a recent story by the commander of the unmanned complex. The drone and its operator found ground objects and followed them for several hours - despite camouflage, attempts to escape, etc. In addition, the UAV provided target designation and fire adjustment.

UAV fixes the defeat of the target

It is important that all these operations were performed by one aircraft with a standard load. At the same time, all the desired results were obtained - several consecutive strikes ended in the successful defeat of all identified targets.

It should also be noted that the described sortie cannot be considered as an isolated case. Such flights with reconnaissance, guidance and adjustment are carried out regularly. Orlans and other domestic UAVs are reported to operate around the clock, and each of their flights must be accompanied by the detection and / or defeat of targets.

Benefits and effectiveness

To date, "Orlan-10" has become the most massive and widespread UAV of the Russian army. In addition, it is perhaps the most useful and efficient example of its class. Such equipment successfully conducted reconnaissance and performed other tasks in the course of various exercises, and for some time has been involved in work in real military operations.

As part of the current Special Operation, the Orlan-10 unmanned systems are again solving all their tasks. They face various opposition from the enemy, but this does not affect the overall results. And light drones continue their work, providing a solution to larger combat missions.
Photos used:
Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

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  1. Dedok
    Dedok April 1 2022 16: 25
    in the photo, the camera is covered with some kind of piece of cellophane, is this a regular solution?
    with such a decision, the "resolution" of the optical system should drop and drop significantly
    this photo wanders from article to article, that's why the question
  2. sen
    sen April 1 2022 16: 40
    Most often, the Orlan-10 product acts as such a means of objective control.

    To detect a camouflaged enemy, UAVs with thermal imagers and airborne radars are also needed.
    1. stankow
      stankow 17 June 2022 20: 55
      Radar with a weight of 14 kg ?? Rather, in the weight category over 500 kg ...
  3. stels_07
    stels_07 April 1 2022 16: 54
    And how does it give out target designation: does it illuminate with a laser or coordinates, latitude, longitude?
    1. stankow
      stankow April 2 2022 12: 38
      One picture (photo) of the target and the approximate coordinates of the drone when it was filmed are enough for the artillery battalion staff. Then the photogrammers know their stuff.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  4. Evgenijus
    Evgenijus April 1 2022 18: 08
    The work of UAV Orlan-10 is real within 3 - 4 hours. Most likely, the author meant the work of on-board electronics. But to work for 15 - 16 hours of flight, what kind of battery is needed on board? There will be enough fuel for a long flight, that's for sure, but the battery charge is unlikely. Need a micro generator on board to recharge the battery. Maybe it is in the equipment. In general, an excellent UAV for reconnaissance.
    1. dnestr74
      dnestr74 April 1 2022 21: 23
      It has a petrol engine, ayy what battery?
      1. Evgenijus
        Evgenijus April 2 2022 09: 39
        I always thought that electronics (receivers, UAV transmitters, etc.) are powered by electricity.
        Forgive me for my confusion.
    2. Piramidon
      Piramidon April 2 2022 13: 01
      Quote: Evgenijus
      But to work for 15 - 16 hours of flight, what kind of battery is needed on board?

      He does not have electric kettles and irons on board. And the equipment consumes no more than a regular laptop.
    3. AndrtoV
      AndrtoV 29 May 2022 17: 53
      Evgenijus, even before batteries wassat did you think of it? The UAV has an ELECTRIC GENERATOR articulated with an engine, this allows you not to waste the weight of the payload on batteries for equipment. While the gasoline engine is running, the equipment is working, and this is 15-16 hours.
  5. lucul
    lucul April 1 2022 18: 29
    The main task of "Orlanov-10" is to conduct reconnaissance at tactical depth in the interests of different branches of the military. According to such reconnaissance, strikes are planned and adjusted, as well as coordination of troop actions is carried out.

    In general, reconnaissance UAVs should be in every battalion, and preferably in every company of the Russian troops.
  6. 2я19
    2я19 April 1 2022 19: 10
    The complex has been in the army for 10 years, the number is in the thousands, and the columns on the march are ambushed, how is this to be understood? Can't we? We store in warehouses because it's expensive? Or is a camouflaged shooting position too tough for an eagle? The thermal imager is not used? And many more questions...
  7. certero
    certero April 1 2022 19: 55
    I would like to know where these thousands fly during the special operation? Okay, I have 1000, at least hundreds?
  8. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek April 1 2022 21: 36
    They wrote that he does not give coordinates .... It also has fixed optics.
    1. Captain Nemo
      Captain Nemo April 2 2022 09: 19
      from open sources:
      Shooting in real time with registration and transmission of all parameters (coordinates, height, shooting angle, frame number, etc.)
  9. YOUR.
    YOUR. April 2 2022 09: 36
    It seems that Kirill Ryabov did not write ...
  10. gromovanton
    gromovanton April 2 2022 09: 53
    The question of the availability of thermal imagers and other payloads is not so much for the UAV developer as for the level of development of military optoelectronics in the Russian Federation. From the interesting point, what piece of land can be seen (m by m) from a working height? and what can be seen. What they show in the videos from the Ministry of Defense is a video, well, it’s just terrible, it’s hard to have what is called having a desire to see something at point-blank range ... This is again not a question for UAVs, but for our electronics or perhaps how our propaganda works ...
    I would like to receive an article with an analysis-comparison with the closest competitors.
    The fact that the complex has been in service for 10 years and there are a lot of advantages is good.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  11. antishefff
    antishefff April 2 2022 20: 29
    Yes, and he can easily carry something under the wings, the MONK weighs 2 kg, here’s a similar efficiency to drink one bun for him and it’s quite one calculation to reset something, and given the fact that he’s small and there are a lot of them, such a flock of business can do my respect
  12. The comment was deleted.