Flying way under the radar: MILITARY DRONE crashes in a backyard in a tiny Russian town (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Residents of a tiny town in central Russia were shaken up on Saturday afternoon when a military-grade drone crash-landed a few dozen meters away from their homes. Luckily, no-one was injured on the ground.
The ‘Orion’ Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) went down in the town of Listvyanka near the central Russian city of Ryazan. Video filmed by a baffled local resident from his window shoes the hefty drone, about the size of a light airplane, splayed out a stone’s throw away from apartment blocks at the edge of town.
“A drone fell right into the garden. I went on a walk with my daughter there yesterday,” the man comments.
The vehicle was performing a test flight, according to the regional transport investigative committee. The local governor’s spokesman told TASS the drone was supposed to land at the nearby airport, where “special service members” were expecting its arrival. The drone doesn’t belong to the Russian Defense Ministry, however – the military is only scheduled to receive its first ‘Orion’ UAV (hopefully better tested than this one) sometime later this year.
The crash was likely caused by a “systems failure”, according to the investigators’ earliest assessment. The UAV development company, Kronshtadt Group, has promised its help in the investigation, and unnamed sources cited by Russian media say the Listvyanka incident won’t hamper the scheduled delivery of the drone to the army.The ‘Orion’ is classified as a medim-long-duration UAV, capable of flying autonomously for 24 hours at a time. It weighs about a ton with a 200kg payload capacity. Reports from earlier this year indicate the drone was being tested as an attack craft, armed with bombs of an unspecified type.
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