Tag Archives: Orion Unmanned Aircraft System

Orion UAS

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a new $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences for the continued development of the Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

Aurora’s Orion Ultra Long Endurance UAS
Aurora’s Orion Ultra Long Endurance UAS

Orion is a twin-engine high performance UAS that can stay aloft over 100 hours at a time with payloads in excess of 1,000 pounds/453.6 kg. Development of the Orion started in 2006 and its first flight was in August 2013. In December 2014, the Orion established the current UAS world endurance record with an 80-hour, 2-minute and 52-second flight.

The new contract funds the development of a certified version of Orion that will be suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. The work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, and Manassas, Virginia.


  • Reduces number of bases needed for worldwide ops;
  • Reduces forward footprint minimizing personnel in harm’s way;
  • Provides flexibility even when infrastructure or airfields are unavailable;
  • Previously unreachable areas of vast oceans are now reachable.



Medium-Altitude Aircraft
Altitude 15,000-30,000 feet/4,572-9,144 m
Endurance 120+ hour
Payload Up to 2800 lbs/1,270 kg