Air International 2022-05
A.Mladenov - Big plans slow progress
The Russian military currently operates just two TUAS platforms, with the Forpost-R considered the more advanced one
A Forpost UAV prior to taking off in the Nagorni Karabakh region to support Russian operations
The Forpost TUAS is a licensed version of the IAI Searcher II with a payload of up to 220lb (100kg), and endurance of 16 to 18 hours, using the conventional take-off and landing method. Each Forpost system has three air vehicles and one ground control station
A look into the Forpost's operator's station, displaying the information provided by the sensors of the Israeli-supplied MOSP payload
Production of the first Orion MALE system for the Russian MoD launched at Kronstadt in 2019, but its formal delivery was not reported before April 2021
Inokhodets MALE unmanned aircraft departs the Kronshtadt company’s airfield in Protasovo near Ryazan
Designed and manufactured by the privately owned company Kronstadt Group, the Orion MALE-class UAV is a V-tail air vehicle with a range of 135nm and endurance stretching to 24 hours
Known as the first Russian-made MALE-class UAS, the Orion is being touted for a wide variety of military applications and is currently in use in the strike role, using the Kh-BPLA guided missile in real-world combat operations in Ukraine
A close look at the Orion’s MOES EO/IR payload, 410mm in diameter and weighing 123.4lb, which houses a pair of thermal imagers in addition to a TV camera and laser rangefinder/designator to enable drone use in the precise targeting role
A look at the interior of the ground control station of the Orion MALE UAS, designed and produced by the Kronstadt Group
The first Altius-U prototype made its maiden flight in August 2019 and its introduction in operational service is expected for about 2025
Altius is the first Russian-made MALE UAV system, but its development continues at a slow pace; fielding into military service has yet to be time-lined.
An Altius-M early prototype seen here prepared for a test fight