Kronsthadt Group Orion E UAS

Konstradt Orion UAV. The E is the export version. Konstradt.

SHAH ALAM: Kronsthadt Group Orion E UAS. In 2019 Malaysian Defence posted a story on the eight UASs which was listed as had been forwarded to RMAF in response to a RFI in December 2018. One of the UAS was the Kronsthadt Group Orion E MALE UAV. The Orion E RFI was put forward by local company Alaf Research & Technology for the RFI.

The Orion E is the export variant of the Russian AF version – put into service within the last three years – and the UAV can carry four guided bombs or missiles, a payload of 200 kg and endurance of 24 hours.

As the tender for the MALE UAS like the MPA is an international one, it is likely that the offer for the Orion E was submitted by Kronsthadt together with Rosoboronexport, the Russian state agency for arms export. That said the local company Alaf could also be involved in the tender. It must be noted that on August 28, last year, Rosoboronexport announced its deal with Kronsthadt to market UAVs in the global market.

Kronsthadt Orion UAV. The E is the export version. Kronsthadt.

JSC Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) and JSC Kronshtadt signed an agreement on mutual cooperation in the area of foreign trade on August 24, 2020, during the International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2020”.

The aim of the action plan is to organize efficient interaction between Rosoboronexport and Kronshtadt in order to expand the volume of exports, as well as the nomenclature of unmanned systems of military, dual use and civilian purpose.

“The global market today displays a rapid growth of demand for unmanned aerial vehicles, which is a distinctive feature of the transition to the sixth technological paradigm. The efficiency of such systems has been proved by their use in military conflicts of recent years. Russian producers, following the global trend, are actively engaged in the development of complexes for various market segments. Here, at the “Army-2020” Forum, Kronshtadt has presented for the first time its Orion reconnaissance-strike complex with an impressive spectrum of weapons, which has huge export potential. We are ready to start promoting it to partners from the Asia-Pacific region, Middle East and North Africa as soon as the compilation of all the authorization documents is over,” said Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev, who also holds position of Deputy Chairman in the Russian Engineering Union.

Apart from the Orion-E complexes with unmanned aerial vehicles, Rosoboronexport will be able to supply to foreign countries other advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, developed and produced by the Kronshtadt company, which are to be tailored to the interests of different security agencies of foreign customers.

“At this exhibition we are presenting a whole line of UAVs, and in the near future we will also be ready to demonstrate them to foreign customers. We have ambitious plans, i.e. over the next three years, we are to become three times larger. We must enlarge our production facilities (both for serial and trial production) and recruit engineers and designers,” noted Kronshtadt’s CEO Sergei Bogatikov

Kronsthadt Orion UAV.

Despite what both companies said CAATSA hangs heavily on Russian arms export. It is likely a big hammer blow for any export deal to Malaysia and other countries.

Kronsthadt Orion UAVs.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2225 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Wing Lonng is the likely winner for Malaysia drone tender due to cost and effectiveness. A small leap for MAF, a giant leap for Malaysia!

  2. Justin – due to cost and effectiveness”

    How does one gauge “effectiveness”? Many UASs have been effective” in various conflicts. Many other UASs have impressive tech specs.

    Justin – “A small leap for MAF”

    Buying a small number of MALEs hardly constitutes a “leap” ..

    What will be a “leap” is when we buy decent numbers; are able to coordinate their use with other assets and having an effective “joint” command & control set up.

  3. Slightly off tangent, kinda dissapointing for Alaf to still be offering other platforms with no integration of its own EO systems that 5 years ago they touted as an indigenously-developed echnology including the vibration isolation mounts. Pls update me if I am wrong on this matter.

    Of course they have to offer something already in service, the tender itself said no prototypes will be considered

  4. Justin “Wing Lonng is the likely winner for Malaysia drone tender due to cost and effectiveness. A small leap for MAF, a giant leap for Malaysia!”

    China trolls appearing out of nowhere again and making their kintergartener level claims. Just like when someone popped in to claim the CH-4s that Jordan was dumping were wanted by so many countries. Hello “Eddie Stanley”, we meet again!

  5. CAATSA, a self-serving tyrannical law imposed by a country onto an unwilling world couch in lengthy acronyms to obfuscate their blatantly obvious arm-wrenching tap out hold ironically onto their democratic world allies and non-aligned countries. Those not comply will be dealt by punitive punishment, regime change or outright invasion. All in the name to “protect” democracy and the free world.

    But the real irony…. is how the world watched with wide open eyes as USA morphed into the USSR.

  6. @Justin
    The likely targets of the UAV searches will be Chinese ships skulking in Malaysian territorial waters and EEZ. Malaysia should not be considering China made products aside from the 4 LMS that was shoved down the throats of the RMN chiefs. China is rogue nation, a bully to its regional neighbors when it wants to.

  7. Taib – “aside from the 4 LMS that was shoved down the throats of the RMN chiefs”

    Actually it wasn’t “shoved”. It was politically expedient during that period to buy from China and the RMN was desperate for new hulls; from anywhere as long as they were delivered and as long as certain conditions were met.

    In a perfect world should we have bought them : an unequivocal no.
    We didn’t get value for money; we ended up with a class of just 4 and fully equipping them with Chinese gear will increase the RMN’s support footprint. Sure; they don’t improve the RMN’s warfighting capabilities (hopefully the 2nd batch do) but they improve it ability to conduct day to day peacetime commitments.

    The good thing about them is they are a big improvement in terms of availability, range, endurance and sea keeping over the FACs. Should we buy anymore : no.

  8. Taib – “The likely targets of the UAV searches will be Chinese ships skulking in Malaysian territorial waters and EEZ”

    I get the point you’re making but no. If detecting Chinese ships was our main priority; we’d order more radars and ESM. Detecting Chinese ships is not the issue as the radars in the reefs gives us pretty decent coverage. The UASs are intended for a variety of purposes in a larger operational context.

  9. Harap module kontena untuk LMS ambil dari sumber lain..

    Dan sistem senjata module boleh standalone..

    Power supply shj dari LMS

    No one will sell us any military grade stuff to be installed on a China made warship

  10. @Taib
    UAS is just for surveillance purposes. It cannot be armed and target anything so no point for China to jam it or tamper it. I see no reason why for we cannot use China equipment if the price is affordable and suits the purpose.

  11. Better we dont buy any military equipment from China again. Yes western price will blow our pocket but it can be trusted. Best example is our F18 and hawk. Anyway it just my opinion maybe some friends here will have other great opinions.

  12. Pjan- “ but it can be trusted”


    Just because it’s Western doesn’t mean it’s defect free or it can be “trusted”. We’ve had issues with Western stuff which didn’t perform as advertised; not due to any fault of ours.

    Also bear in mind that most Western stuff is designed to use in temperate climates; the high humidity here can be an issue.

  13. I don’t see how we can buy any armament from PRC and use them against that state. And the UAV is probably 2nd or 3rd rate which probably will be easily downed by the PLN or Air Force. The argument is well, IMHO, ludicrous.

  14. @Pjan
    Treat Chinese equipment like you would with Russian stuff. It always will be the cheaper but often not the better option. However if we want something just good enough, like something for observation & surveillance purposes, its okay to go for a cost effective platform. We don’t need the latest and greatest stuff to do mundane work unless we’re intend to do spying or ELINT with them.

  15. Taib – “I don’t see how we can buy any armament from PRC and use them against that state”

    But we’re not getting armaments to be specifically used against China and even if we did; the fact that they’re Chinese made doesn’t automatically mean they
    zero utility against China or would be more vulnerable compared to stuff sourced elsewhere.

    Taib – “UAV is probably 2nd or 3rd rate which probably will be easily downed by the PLN or Air Force”

    Any UAS (whether 1st rate or 3rd) is vulnerable in certain conditions; especially against opponents which have invested in a variety of hard and soft kill means.

    Even “1st rate” U.S. UASs have proven vulnerable to Iranian efforts to counter them.

  16. @Taib
    No I don’t advocate for that either though some do think its okay to get Chinese ordnances. But why you say their UAV is 2nd or 3rd rate? Just cuz their cheaper doesn’t have to mean it is bad and cannot use. OTOH not all Western stuff are foolproof and reliable. Remember how Iran hijacked a RQ-170 Sentinel? Does it imply Western stuff are unreliable and easily hacked?

  17. Whether it’s from China or the U.S. there are some things we should buy and some things we shouldn’t . Like everybody else: China produces certain things we can consider and certain things we shouldn’t. Things that we should never get are things which would cause us interoperability issues.

    From a security perspective it’s not as if we’re buying a satellite from China or a Chinese company is developing the MAF’s C3 network. Nobody is going to suggest we should never get an Indonesian MPSS because of unresolved overlapping claims or that we should never deploy
    CN-235s to Ambalat.

    The seeker of a FN-6 won’t encounter issues locking into a target merely because it’s a Chinese aircraft. A Chinese radar operated by us doesn’t automatically mean it’s easier to jam by the Chinese as the frequencies and codes are set by us. Bear in mind that Russian missiles fired by non state actors have shot down Russian aircraft and Iranian P-3a and F-14s have locked onto U.S. aircraft.

  18. Justin,

    You must be new here, and perhaps didn’t read past arguments on this topic.

    The opposition to Chinese equipment boils down to primarily 2 factors: (1) geopolitics (2) interoperability with other MAF assets. Quality-wise, most readers agree that Chinese quality has improved significantly.

    Geopolitical concern is self-explanatory. China’s 9 dash line claim intrudes into our territorial waters, and CCG continuous harassment and intrusion of Malaysian vessels well inside our boundaries.

    The 2nd factor is the MAF is based on NATO/Western doctrine, therefore Western/European equipment are better suited for its use. Introducing Chinese equipment will require it to be integrated to the existing (Western) platform, and no Western company is willing to do that for security concerns, as well as the risks of being blacklisted by the US. In addition this will also complicate maintenance and logistics matters, as the MAF would need to train personnel for 3 different platforms (NATO, Russian and Chinese), thus adding more strain to MAF resources.

    He is not new lah just someone posting using another alias. Sometimes I cleared comments on my hand phones and the odd ones do get through

  19. One thing though, if we are not allowed to install Western arms on the LMSes, then this limits us to Chinese made ones only ? What about Russian?

    So if that’s the case then these LMSes will only have guns and no missiles, unless we agree to procure the Chinese made ones

    It is not we are not allowed, no one will sell us Western made arms for the LMSes. This has been made clear to the RMN prior and after the contract signing. Yes we could buy Russian ones if we dont mind CAATSA.

  20. ASM – ”So if that’s the case then these LMSes will only have guns and no missiles, unless we agree to procure the Chinese made ones”

    Obviously …..That has always been the conundrum faced by the RMN.

    The most logical approach and the most practical and cost effective is going for Chinese ships equipped 100 percent with Chinese gear : no good for the RMN though due to interoperability/commonality.

    As for Russian; even we we could; installing Russian stuff would also be problematic due to integration/certification issues. Even integrating Western stuff to other Western stuff can be a technical issue.

  21. ASM – ”The 2nd factor is the MAF is based on NATO/Western doctrine, therefore Western/European equipment are better suited for its use.”

    One can have NATO doctrine and operate non Western gear, It’s not so much our doctrine that’s the problem but the fact that most of what we operate is Western; stuff which has zero commonality/interoperability with Chinese and Russian stuff.

    As for doctrine; what we were given was a mainly 1950’s based one inherited from the Brits. Along the way we modified it; various systems we got from various sources also led an evolved way of doing things. We have a strategy and various contingency plans in place but whether or not we actually have specific doctrines for various things is unknown to me.
    We have a Western way of doing things [a lot of what we buy is obviously NATO compliant] but not a NATO/Western doctrine per see.

    We don’t even have an ‘urban warfare’ or ‘maneuver warfare’ manual; at least not yet. In fact; despite years on counter insurgency; I don’t even know if we had a ‘counter insurgency’ manual per see. We never even released an official history of the 2nd Emergency or the Confrontation [neither did the Indonesians].

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