Successfully Deployed In Ukraine, Russia To Exhibit Its ‘Advanced’ Orlan-30 Drone For The First Time At Aero India Show

Russia’s state arms manufacturer Rosoboronexport announced on February 9 that it will display the latest Orlan-30 reconnaissance drone for the first time outside of Russia at the Aero India 2023 exhibition.

The Russian defense industry will display a variety of weapons during the Aero India 2023, which will be held from February 13 to February 17 at the Yelahanka Air Force Base in Bangalore, India. 

The Russian arms seller will display the Orlan series of drones frequently used in Ukraine to target Ukrainian armed forces. 

In a press release, Rosoboronexport said that attendees to the Rosoboronexport booth are invited to learn about Russian unmanned aerial vehicles, including the Orion-E reconnaissance and strike aircraft, as well as the Orlan-10E and Orlan-30 reconnaissance aircraft. 

Rosoboronexport will exhibit about 200 samples of Russia’s most promising weapons and military hardware in India. This will include the multifunctional fifth-generation fighter Su-75 Checkmate and Su-57 Felon. 

Ahead of the international aviation show Aero India 2023, Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheyev also said that the company is offering India new high-tech research and production projects on the premises of Indian enterprises. 

He added that the military-technical partnership between Russia and India is an example of an industrial relationship, with numerous completed and ongoing collaborative projects for all armed services branches.

He said that the company is presenting fresh opportunities for collaboration in the joint development and production of high-tech products on the premises of Indian companies as part of the national Make in India program while adhering to all localization and technology transfer requirements.

The Il-76MD-90A(E) military transport aircraft, the Il-78MK-90A aerial refueling tanker, the MiG-35D multirole frontline fighter, the Su-35, and Su-30SME supermaneuverable fighters will also be on display at the Aero India 2023 air show.

The EurAsian Times had earlier reported that Russia is also looking to cooperate with India in developing the Su-75 Light Tactical Aircraft “Checkmate” project. 

Orlan 30 drone

Orlan-30 Drone System In Ukraine 

The Orlan-30 drone system is designed and developed by the Special Technology Center. This drone is a successor to the Orlan-10 UAV, which the Russian state-run media claims have a strong demand in the global market. 

The Orlan series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has proven to be a critical component of the Russian armed force’s operations in Ukraine. These drones identify and track Ukrainian troops and vehicles from medium altitudes, relaying their locations for immediate artillery, missile, and loitering munition attacks.

Along with artillery spotting, the Russian forces employ the Orlan series of drones in Ukraine to effectively suppress and destroy enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD) operations. 

When a drone hovers over an enemy position, Russian artillery response times can be as brief as three minutes after target recognition, leaving adversaries little time to escape the death zone. 

Ukrainian soldiers from the 81st Airmobile Brigade managed to down a Russian Orlan-10 with a truck-mounted Zu-23-2.

However, in the absence of drones, the response times can be around 20 minutes, allowing Ukrainian units to flee. The presence or absence of Russian UAVs in Ukraine plays a crucial role in shaping Russian lethality because both sides’ military tactics mainly rely on artillery firepower.

In April 2022, the Ukrainian forces, for the first time, captured a Russian Oraln-30 drone on the battlefield. In August 2022, Ukrainian armed forces reportedly shot down a modern Russian “Orlan-30” surveillance drone. 

The Orlan-30 is designed for conducting aerial surveillance, locating, spotting, and identifying objects in the visible or infrared spectrum. 

Additionally, when equipped with a mission payload, it enables target identification for precision-guided weapons for eliminating fixed and moving targets during the day or at night. The Orlan-30 drone has a five-hour flight time, a top speed of 170 km/h, and can climb up to a maximum altitude of 5,000 meters.

The drone’s primary distinction from the Orlan-10 is the inclusion of a laser target designator-rangefinder. This device can illuminate the target with a laser beam, enabling the drone to identify and strike it precisely.