New Russian Factory to Make ‘Inokhodet’ Attack Drone, Seen as Competitor to U.S.’ Predator

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Orion-E Drone at Army 2020

Russian privately owned drone manufacturer, Kronstadt has announced the construction of a plant for the manufacture of ‘Inokhodet’ attack and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) similar to General Atomics’ ‘Predator.’

Its factory is coming up in the city of Dubna in the Moscow region. The enterprise will produce the ‘Inokhodet’ attack and reconnaissance UAV and will commence operations this November, the Kronstadt announced Friday, Russian MoD’s TV channel, tvzvezda reported.

Investments in the project will amount to over four billion rubles (US$53 million approx). Using new age manufacturing techniques, the production process will become environmentally friendly and noiseless. According to Kronstadt, the plant will employ more than 1.5 thousand people, and its area will be about 45 thousand square meters. Annual tax payments to the exchequer will exceed 900 million rubles.

In February, the general director of Kronshtadt JSC, Sergei Bogatikov, announced that in 2021, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will be supplied with seven Inokhodets attack drone systems. There are three drones in one complex.

The ‘Inokhodets’ drone is made on the basis of the earlier ‘Orion’ drone made  by the same company. The takeoff weight of this drone is about a ton, the flight speed is 200 kilometers per hour. The drone is capable of climbing to a height of 7.5 kilometers. Its wingspan is approximately 16 meters.

It was not known what weapons the drone would carry our description of its reconnaissance payload. The ‘Orion’ has been shown at various defence trade shows in Russia together with air to ground missiles.

An Orion UAV was on display at the Army-2020 exhibition near Mosscow accompanies with Kh-50 and KAB-20 guided bombs.

In December 2020, Russia’s Orion unmanned aerial vehicle has reportedly fired guided weapons for the first time. The guided glide bombs employed could include two different 110-pound weapons including the KAB-50 and UPAB-50. While the KAB-50 could be a laser guided bomb, the latter is supposed to be a glide bomb.