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Advanced combat drone crashes on Russian village, highlighting active deployment

An Inokhodets next-generation Russian heavy strike drone has crashed near its airbase in Taganrog, offering evidence that the UAV is operational
Photo of the crashed drone. Credit: Astra/TG
Advanced combat drone crashes on Russian village, highlighting active deployment

A new Russian strike drone known as Inokhodets reportedly crashed near the village of Daraganovka outside Taganrog late Saturday night, according to Russian TG channel Astra, citing emergency services sources.

Photo of the crashed drone. Credit: Astra/TG

Neither local authorities in Russia’s Rostov Oblast nor Russia’s Defense Ministry acknowledged that the downed unmanned aerial vehicle belonged to the Russian military, Astra wrote. 

However, the apparent loss of the sophisticated UAV highlights Russia’s active use of the Inokhodets platform. The drone is designed to conduct both reconnaissance and strike missions, carrying missiles and bombs against targets, Liga.net reports.

According to its Russian designers at Kronshtadt Group, the Inokhodets can deploy unguided bombs like the KAB-100 as well as the devastating ODAB-500PMV volume-detonating munition. It was also slated to be armed with guided missiles.

The drone represents an advanced iteration of Russia’s Orion UAV, in service since 2019 after being battle-tested in Syria. The Orion has been observed participating in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine since at least fall 2022.

The Orion drone
The Orion drone

A month before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, its military stated the Inokhodets would begin to be delivered to troops in 2023. Then in late May, it announced the drone’s first flight had occurred.

Daraganovka on a map

Russia boasts the over 9-meter long Inokhodets can reach 7,000 meter altitude at 180 km/hour speeds with 450 kg payload capacity and up to 24 hours endurance. However, Russia frequently exaggerates or misrepresents its weapons capabilities.

In July, satellite images shared by Benjamin Pittet revealed at least three Inokhodets Orion-type UAVs stationed at a Russian airbase near Taganrog. The reported Inokhodets crash now signals Russia has progressed to deploying the next-generation model as well.

 

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