MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. The Orion unmanned combat aerial vehicle has crashed near an apartment house in a town of Russia’s central Ryazan Region, Sergei Bubenev, a major case detective of the Russian Investigative Committee’s Moscow transport investigative department, told TASS on Saturday.
"A model crashed down during a test flight. According to the preliminary conclusion, there was a technical failure. The reasons are being looked into. It is the Orion [drone]," Bubenev said.
According to the detective, the drone had problems prior to the landing.
"The weather could have hardly had any effect. Maybe, a side wind," he said.
According to the head of the Ryazan district, Natalia Zhunyaeva, the drone fell at about 70 meters from an apartment house.
"No-one was hurt," she said.
Orion attack drone
The Orion is a medium altitude, long endurance drone with a maximum takeoff weight of 1 tonne and a maximum payload of 200 kg. The drone has a service ceiling of 7.5 km and its maximum flight duration with the standard payload is 24 hours. The drone can develop a speed of up 200 km/h. The drone is being developed by Kronshtadt Group.
At the Army-2018 international arms show, Kronshtadt Group demonstrated a drone armament control system and a munition prototype of its own development with a weight of up to 50 kg that can be outfitted with various warheads.
Another TASS source in the defense industry said in February 2019 that back in 2018 the Orion drone had been tested for employing air bombs but did not specify the munition types. According to the source, the drone was used in Syria but without employing its armament.
At the MAKS-2019 air show, Kronshtadt Group Chief Designer Dolzhenkov told TASS that the Orion drone was at the final stage of its trials and that the Defense Ministry of Russia would get one such unmanned aerial vehicle before the end of the year.