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UAV Orlan-10.JPG
An Orlan-10 on display
Role Reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle
National origin Russia
Manufacturer Special Technology Center (STC)
Introduction 2010
Status In service
Primary users Russian Ground Forces
Ministry of Emergency Situations (Russia)[1]
Kazakhstan State Committee for National Security[3][4]
Armed Forces of Kazakhstan[5]
Number built >1,000

The Orlan-10 (Russian: Орлан-10) is a reconnaissance, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Special Technology Center (STC) in Saint Petersburg for the Russian Armed Forces.[6][7] The Orlan-10 features a composite hull that reduces its radar signature.[8]

The price for one drone is reportedly between USD 87, 000 to  120 000.[9] It is usually used in groups of two or three, in which the first is used for reconnaissance at a height of 1,000 to 1,500 metres (3,300 to 4,900 ft), the second for electronic warfare and the third as a transponder which transmits information to the control center.[9] One system can include up to five vehicles.[10]

Over 50 UAVs were delivered for export in 2021 to Russia's allies.[11] It has seen action in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.[12][13] According to media reports, an updated variant of Orlan-10 tactical UAV was to enter service with the Russia's ground forces in 2020. The updated variant is expected to have a laser designator to allow it to pinpoint targets for precision-guided artillery and aircraft munitions.[14]

More than 1,000 Orlan-10s have been produced, with 11 different variations.[15]

Operational history[edit]


Orlan-10 on the launch catapult

War in Donbass[edit]

The Orlan-10 is reportedly being used in the War in Donbas. In this conflict aerial reconnaissance by unmanned aerial vehicles is banned by the Minsk agreements.[9] Ukrainian officials have claimed to have had shot down or captured several UAVs of this type since 2014:

  • In May 2014, Ukrainian officials reported that they had shot down an Orlan-10 in Ukraine.[7][16]
  • In July 2014, Ukrainian forces shot down two UAVs of this type – No. 10212 near Zelenopillia[17] and No. 10237 near Amvrosiivka.[18]
  • In August 2014, another Orlan-10 (No. 10215) was shot down by the Ukrainian forces with Strela-10 SAM system.[19]
  • In April 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published a video of the UAV (No. 10264) which it claimed to have shot down near Avdiivka.[20]
  • In November 2016, Ukrainian officials stated that they had retrieved an Orlan-10 (No. 10332) drifting on the Azov Sea near Mariupol.[21]
  • In September 2017, an Orlan-10 (No. 11057) fell down on Ukrainian territory and was captured by Ukrainian forces.[22]
  • On 28 December 2017, Ukrainian troops shot down another Orlan-10 near Toretsk.[9]
  • On 10 January 2018, Ukrainian troops shot down another Orlan-10.[23]
  • On 16 August 2018, an unidentified UAV, similar to the Orlan-10, was shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire over Pervomaisk.[24][25]
  • On 13 October 2018, an Orlan-10 was shot down by a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter using gunfire near Lysychansk.[26][27]
  • On 19 November 2018, an Orlan-10 UAV was shot down by Ukrainian air defense forces.[28] RB-341V Leer-3 electronic warfare systems, which can control up to three Orlan-10 drones, were also spotted in Ukraine by OSCE in 2018 and 2020.[29][30]

Invasion of Ukraine, 2022[edit]

Orlan-10 used during the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

An upgraded strike version of the Orlan-10 able to carry four high-explosive fragmentation projectiles was reportedly used in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[31] Several have been shot down in combat during the war,[32][33] including by an UK-supplied Martlet missile.[34]


The Orlan-10 is being actively used by the Russian Ground Forces in the Syrian Civil War for either reconnaissance, collecting aerial imagery or 3D-mapping in support of humanitarian convoys and S&R operations.[35]

In November 2015, an Orlan-10 located the surviving member of a downed Russian Su-24M2 bomber and facilitated his speedy recovery.[35]

On 10 March 2020, an Orlan-10 drone was shot down by Syrian rebels in Suluk, Raqqa Governorate.[36]

As of 9 June 2021, an Orlan 10 killed a prominent HTS member known as Abu Khalid al-Shami.[37]


In early February 2022, an Orlan-10 drone crashed near Brest.[38][39]


On 13 March 2022, an Orlan-10 was found on a field in Bistrița-Năsăud County, Romania. It was initially thought to be a drone owned by a private person in Romania, however it was soon identified as a Russian-made Orlan-10. The investigation is ongoing.[40][41] According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the drone belongs to the Russian army.[42] Russia has lost 50 drones according to the Oryx blog. According to the UK MoD Russia will struggle to replace these lost units due to "...limitations in its domestic manufacturing capacity resulting from sanctions.”[43]


UAV Orlan-10 lands by parachute

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 6 kg (13 lb) payload
  • Max takeoff weight: 15 kg (33 lb)
  • Launch method: folding catapult platform
  • Landing method: parachute recovery
  • Max. wind speed at launch: 10 m/s
  • Operational temperature range: −30 to +40 °C
  • Powerplant: 1 × Saito Manufacturing FA-62B single-cylinder four-stroke gasoline piston engine, 0.71 kW (0.95 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 245 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn)
  • Combat range: 1,400 km (870 mi, 760 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 600 km (370 mi, 320 nmi)
  • Endurance: 16 hours
  • Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,000 ft)




  1. ^ @UAWeapons (30 April 2022). "#Ukraine: Another Orlan-10 drone of the Russian Forces crashed. However, this one is unusual- it has markings indicating that it is from the Ministry of Emergency Situations" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "First Export of Russian Orlan-E Drones Goes to Myanmar". Defense world.
  3. ^ "Kyrgyzstan to acquire Bayraktar TB2 UAVs from Turkey". Jane's.
  4. ^ "ЦАМТО / Киргизия заказала 6 БЛА «Орлан-10Е» и 3 «Байрактар TB2»". Arms trade.
  5. ^ "Russia delivers combat aircraft, missile systems to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this year". Taß.
  6. ^ "Russia to produce its own unmanned vehicles". Unmanned. July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Ostrovsky, Simon (30 May 2014). "Ukraine Says it Shot Down a Russian Spy Drone". Vice. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Russia: Northeastern Forces operate Orlan-10 drones". Air recognition. Archived from the original on 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  9. ^ a b c d Ukrainian troops shoot down Russian drone in ATO zone, UNIAN (29 December 2017)
  10. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В Приморском крае мотострелки ВВО получили завершающую партию комплексов БЛА "Орлан-10"". Arms trade.
  11. ^ "Russia's state arms exporter to offer kamikaze drones, heavy UAVs to foreign customers". Taß.
  12. ^ "Russian UAV recovered in Libya". Jane's. Archived from the original on 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  13. ^ "Russian peacekeepers use latest drones, video conferencing systems in Karabakh".
  14. ^ "Russia to bring new Orlan UAV variant into service next year". Jane's 360. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Уникальная отечественная разработка: эксклюзивные кадры с испытаний "Орланов" под Петербургом". Zvezda (TV channel). 2018-03-09. Archived from the original on 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-05-18 – via You tube.
  16. ^ "У зоні проведення АТО припинено несанкціонований політ російського безпілотника" (in Ukrainian). Security Service of Ukraine. 30 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
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  18. ^ "Під Амвросіївкою військові збили черговий російський безпілотник" (in Ukrainian). Espreso TV. 23 July 2017. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
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  20. ^ "У районі Авдіївки збито безпілотник російських військових" (in Ukrainian). Security Service of Ukraine. 8 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  21. ^ Russian drone retrieved from Azov Sea near Mariupol coast (photos, video) Archived 2016-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, UNIAN (7 November 2016)
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  23. ^ Another Russian drone downed by Ukraine troops in Donbas, second since Christmas truce, UNIAN (12 January 2018)
  24. ^ "ООС: сводные данные – 17 августа 2018". mediarnbo.org. 17 August 2018. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  38. ^ "The Insider: Przechwycony na Białorusi dron jest rosyjski, a nie ukraiński".
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  45. ^ David Hambling (11 April 2022). "Russia's Deadly Artillery Drones Have A Strange Secret". Forbes. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
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