Russian military integrates Orlan-10 and Takhion UAVs with Msta-B howitzers

Russia’s artillery units have integrated the newest Orlan-10 and Takhion tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with 2A65 Msta-B 152 mm towed howitzers.

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Russian military integrates Orlan 10 and Takhion UAVs with Msta B howitzers 01

Orlan-10 UAV. The Orlan-10 systems can control four drones simultaneously. It can also organize a network of 30 operators to control the payloads of simultaneously launched drones. Orlan-10 takeoff weight is 14 kg and the payload is up to 5 kg. It is equipped with a photo camera, gyro-stabilized TV camera and an infrared imager. The cruising speed is 90-150 km/h and the practical ceiling is 5000 meters. Flight duration is 16 hours and the range is up to 120 km from the ground control station (up to 600 km in autonomous regime) (Picture source:

The system has been recently tested during an exercise of the Eastern Military District (VVO) troops at the Tsugol range in Zabaykalsky Krai, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The Msta-B howitzers were transported to their firing positions by KAMAZ-based Medved (Bear) carriers. According to the scenario of the exercise, the Orlan-10 and Takhion UAVs detected a simulated enemy’s armor at a distance of more than 10 km and sent information to a command and control post. Then, the Msta-B howitzers used this target information and engaged the targets. The exercise included both single firing and battery salvos, according to the military.

Some 200 servicemen and more than 50 weapon systems were involved in the exercise, said the MoD.

Russian military integrates Orlan 10 and Takhion UAVs with Msta B howitzers 02

Takhion UAV. The Takhion is a mini-UAV developed to conduct reconnaissance missions in support for ground forces at ranges of up to 40 kilometers. Externally the Takhion responds to a flying wing design with a nose-mounted two-blade propeller and is operated by a crew of two-man. The drone can conduct reconnaissance missions day/night even in bad weather conditions with wind speed of 15 meters per second (54 kph) (Picture source:


Russian military integrates Orlan 10 and Takhion UAVs with Msta B howitzers 03

152 mm howitzer 2A65 Msta-B. The 2A65 "Msta-B" is a Soviet towed 152.4 mm howitzer. The "B" in the designation is an abbreviation for Buksiruyemaya, which means towed. This weapon has been fielded in Soviet and Russian forces since at least 1987 and is currently in service with Russian front and army level artillery units. The 2A65 howitzer, like many pieces of Soviet artillery, is capable of firing nuclear artillery shells  (Picture source:

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