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Russia has made a significant step toward the deployment of its first fully-operational armed drone. A Russian unmanned aerial vehicle, the Orion, has recently launched small-sized guided missiles, becoming the first Russian drone to use this type of weapon. In addition, Orion has practiced the use of guided gliding bombs. 

While the Russians have said that the Orion drone, developed by Kronstadt, has dropped guided glide bombs before, during combat trials in Syria in 2018, the launch of a powered weapon is a new development, according to 

A source in the military-industrial complex said the massive arrival of UAVs in the troops “will restore parity with a potential enemy in this class of equipment.” 

Representatives of Kronstadt – the developer of the drone did not comment on this information.

Earlier, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the first Orion complexes had already been handed over to the Military Space Forces. In the calendar for 2021 recently published by the department, the drone was officially shown for the first time with suspended weapons – KAB-20 corrected bombs.

According to, Orion has been developed since 2011. It belongs to the class of long-duration medium-altitude vehicles. The device can be in flight for up to a day, the maximum take-off weight reaches 1100 kilograms, the combat load is up to 250 kilograms.