Research, Technology

Our response to the Turkish drone Bayraktar - Orion

One of the most notorious dronesaircraft, which everyone has probably heard of, is Bayraktar TB 2, which has shown effectiveness in several military conflicts. It is a strike operational-tactical medium-altitude UAV. After he showed himself in action, military experts even began to say that the UAV is the future, as the most promising weapon. Therefore, many questions arose - is there an analogue in the Russian army? As you understood from the title, there is such an analogue, and its name is Orion. It is also a medium-altitude UAV. Among its features, experts note the duration of the flight and high carrying capacity. The development of this aircraft began in 2011. Its main tasks are reconnaissance and patrolling with the possibility of delivering a missile and bomb strike. But is this drone really a “Russian Bayraktar”? Let's try to understand this further.

UAV Orion - Russian alternative to the Turkish Bayraktar

The history of the development and purpose of the UAV Orion

The main developer of the UAV was the divisionTransas company, which was later renamed Kronstadt. In parallel with the drone itself, the development of a special optoelectronic station for it began. Among its main functions are a survey of space in the visible and IR ranges, automatic tracking of detected targets, including ground ones, as well as measuring the distance to the target.

The first prototype was ready in 2015.Subsequently, it was replaced at the Ryazan Protasovo airfield, but officially the tests began a year later. In November 2019, Orion began to enter experimental military operation in the Russian Aerospace Forces.

It is known from open sources that the brainchild ofcompany "Kronstadt" turned out to be an UAV weighing up to a ton, which is capable of climbing to a height of up to 7.5 km. The declared characteristics of the drone are really impressive - it is able to stay in the air for a day with a load of 60 kg. The range was 250 km at a speed of 120 km/h.

An interesting feature of the drone is the abilityperformance of some tasks of civil aviation. In particular, it can perform fire monitoring, forestry monitoring, delivery of emergency cargo to firefighters in remote areas, etc.

The first combat test of the UAV Orion was held in Syria

Regarding military use, UAVcapable of simultaneously carrying six small KAB-20 guided bombs or three large KAB-50 bombs. Instead, Orion can carry FAB-50 high-explosive free-fall bombs, as well as UPAB-50 guided glide bombs or Kh-50 medium-range airborne guided cruise missiles.

I must say that UAVs like Orion andBayraktar, some tasks can be performed automatically. In particular, this applies to takeoff and landing, patrolling, target tracking, etc. According to some experts, their use in the army is the next step towards the introduction of combat robots in the army. True, they are being introduced wisely, since everyone is afraid of the “machine uprising”. Therefore, combat robots will not completely replace people in war.

Orion and Bayraktar - which drone is better

Special attention to the Orion drone (in Russia it is stillcalled “Pacer”) was chained after reports that he took part in the military conflict in Syria. The two drones were said to have made more than eight dozen sorties, with 40 of them delivering missile and bomb strikes.

As for the Bayraktar TB2, this UAV has becomeespecially known as a result of the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since that moment, many began to wonder - can Russian UAVs withstand the Turkish Orion? According to Major General Alexander Novikov, if necessary, the domestic UAV will be able to withstand not only Bayraktar, but also any other modern unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Turkish UAV Bayraktar is inferior to the Russian one in a number of parameters

But what do the numbers say about this?If we compare the performance characteristics, we can see that Orion is superior to its Turkish counterpart in several ways. First of all, its maximum speed is much higher - it is 200 km / h, while at Bayraktar it does not exceed 130 km / h. In addition, the load capacity is higher - 250 kg versus 150 kg.

Due to the higher load capacity,Four air-to-ground missiles are placed onboard Orion, while Bayraktar has only two such missiles. In addition, the Russian UAV can hit targets with grenade launchers, machine guns and anti-tank missile systems.

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It must be said that to get higherRussian engineers succeeded in carrying out the carrying capacity due to the larger wingspan - 16 meters versus 12 meters. However, the increased size is known to make the target more vulnerable. In addition, according to some reports, Turkish UAVs have better optics. So which of the drones will still win in a direct fight? It is impossible to answer this question, since such precedents have not yet been. However, we can say with confidence that both machines are able to effectively solve the tasks.

Perhaps UAVs will be dissected in the near futurenot only terrestrial airspace, but also Martian. True, we are not talking about Bayraktars and Orions, in special inflatable aircraft, which we talked about earlier.