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Russian Navy Karakurt-class Corvettes Fitted with Orlan-10 UAVs

Karakurt-class small missile boats (corvettes) of project 22800 received Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles, the Izvestia daily said. The Russian Navy command told the newspaper the Uragan of the Baltic fleet was the first to get the drones. It arranged on the stern the launch catapults and a special crane to lift water-landed drones. The Uragan will offer an experimental site to train drone engagement.

Orlan-10Orlan-10 UAV

Orlan-10 is the most widely used drone in the Navy. It is equipped with night and daytime cameras and electronic warfare means. The drone transmits video online and stays in the air for 14 hours at an altitude of up to 5 thousand meters. Orlan-10 is usually engaged in groups of 2-3 vehicles. One craft is engaged in reconnaissance at a distance of 1-1.5 km from the surface, the second is higher and carries electronic warfare, and the third transmits video to the base from an altitude of 4.5-5 km.

Many foreign navies pay much attention to drones and install them on warships, naval expert Dmitry Boltenkov told the Izvestia. "Orlan-10 will increase corvette efficiency several times and develop them into multirole warships. Drones will reconnoiter targets, provide aiming information and control strike efficiency. They allow corvettes to deliver precision strikes at the coast and adversary warships," he said.

Project 22800 Karakurt class small missile boat corvette UraganProject 22800 Karakurt-class small missile boat (corvette) Uragan. Picture: via Russianarms

Drones will add stealth characteristics to project 22800 corvettes, as they will send small drones to assess the situation rather than switch on radars which can be detected by the adversary, the expert said.

Drones were for the first time used in groups during a recent sortie of Northern fleet warships to the Barents Sea. The drills were successful, the Izvestia said.

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