Russia to start producing combat drones for exports in 2022

Moscow, Jul 2 (Agency) Russia’s technology company Kronshtadt Group is preparing to launch in 2022 mass production of unmanned combat aerial vehicles for exports at a one-of-a-kind plant in the town of Dubna, sources in the defense industry and the Moscow region’s government told Sputnik. Late last month, a defense industry source told Sputnik that Russia had started to promote its first export combat drone Orion-E in the world arms market, adding that several potential buyers had already sent in purchase orders.

“Drone production at the Kronshtadt plant at Dubna for foreign customers is planned to be launched in 2022 as soon as demand for the Orion systems in the Russian armed forces is met,” one of the sources said. The plant is expected to be commissioned in November, the source added, noting that, at the initial stage, it will produce several dozens Orion drones in reconnaissance and combat versions.

Another source briefed on the company’s plan confirmed the information. “The Kronshtadt Group has already begun hiring personnel for the new site. In total, about 1,500 people will need to be recruited, 500 of whom must be hired within the next few months,” the source added. The company started the construction of the country’s first plant specializing in mass production of UAVs in April. Combat drones Orion-E are expected to be one of the best offers in the world arms market and will become “killers” of competitors, such as the Turkish Bayraktar.