Tests of the Orion unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fitted with the radar are scheduled for completion by 2022 year-end. The Orion is capable to perform surveillance of various seaborne and ground targets, including reconnaissance of air defense missile sites, air defense, and missile defense complexes, and getting other information. The drone with the onboard radar, developed by Kronshtadt company specialists based on the Orion unmanned combat aerial Vehicle, is undergoing flight tests at present. They are planned to be completed by the end of 2022. In case of their successful completion, the decision will be made about the introduction of this aircraft into service with the Russian Armed Forces.
Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on 19 December had released a video of its drone, styled much like the MQ-1 Predator of the U.S. military, taking down a rotary-wing drone. Russia has tested an Orion unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) in an air-to-air engagement against a rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during tests in Crimea. The Orion was shown taking off with a missile tube under each wing and tracking the rotary-wing target before engaging it with a missile that appears to be a variant of the 9M113 Kornet anti-tank guided missile family. The engagement reportedly took place at a range of 4 km. Although the video does not share any details of the weapon used to hit the target.
The missile used may be a development of the Kornet-D that was referred to as X-BPLA. X-BPLA is a new development based on guided missiles from the Kornet-D missile system. It will become part of the armament system of combat drones, for example, Inokhodets, Forpost, and Altius drones, as well as Ka-52M ‘Alligator’ helicopter. The Kornet-D is a new anti-tank missile carrier from Russia. Based on a BRDM-2 armored scout car chassis and equipped with Konkurs missiles, it was proposed as a replacement for the 9P148. The Kornet-D is built on a GAZ Tigr 4×4 high mobility vehicle chassis. Although a missile launcher, it can be installed on any wheeled or tracked chassis.
The Orion drone fitted with the radar is capable to perform surveillance of various seaborne and ground targets, including reconnaissance of air defense missile sites, air defense, and missile defense complexes, and getting other information. The turret on the Orion has all the sensors such as electro-optical and infrared cameras needed to track threats on the air and uses its laser-designator to deliver the guided weapon. The remotely located pilot seems to have used these to perfection. The target in the video is a rotary-wing drone that Russia has developed with the primary utility of serving as the bulls-eye for such exercises.