The recent combat test of Russia’s new Orion unmanned aerial vehicle has marked an important milestone in the development of Russia’s air defenses. The experiment showed that the Orion is capable of hitting enemy drones, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.
According to MilitaryWatch, this was a clear signal of Russia’s capability to outstrip world’s most advanced UAVs. First of all, it goes about Turkey’s Bayraktar drones, which Ukraine has recently acquired. Bayraktar UAVs have suffered losses from Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Syria in early 2020, and the Syrian military shoot them down successfully in the east of the country.
The rocket that the Orion UAV fired during the test was a laser-guided version of the Kornet anti-tank rocket.
Iran, China and the United States currently develop air-to-air missiles for drones, but they adapt short-range radar-guided munitions for unmanned aerial vehicles, and one will be able to witness the results of these efforts over the next decade.
Meanwhile, Russia is testing its heavy S-70 Okhotnik drone. This drone is to be armed with longer-range air-to-air missiles. It is not ruled out that manned aircraft are not going to be used in the future as it will be possible to replace them with intelligent unmanned vehicles.