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Elistair Introduces Orion HL, a Tethered Drone Designed for Tactical Communications

Elistair Team | 9 Mar 2023 | 3 min

Elistair Team

9 Mar 2023

3 minutes

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Lyon, France / Wilmington, North Carolina, March 8th, 2023 – Elistair is pleased to announce the launch of Orion Heavy Lift (HL), to support growing demand for variable height antennas from military, public safety and homeland security customers.

As tactical communications evolve to match the rapidly changing needs of operators on the ground, tethered drones offer significant benefits when flexibility and mobility are critical. With the need of highly effective ground units to have increased mobility, tethered drones are enabling the establishment and extension of secured mobile networks, thanks to their rapid deployment time and persistence in the air.

Orion Heavy Lift tethered drone flying. The UAV is equipped with a tactical communication payload

Leveraging the original Orion platform used by military forces and security forces in over 30 countries for ISR missions, the Orion HL benefits from the same level of automation, ruggedization and safety architecture as its parent. Able to carry payloads of 4 kgs at 70 meters and 5 kgs at 50 meters height, for flight durations of 50 hours, Orion HL is deployable in minutes and easily transportable.

Orion heavy lift tethered drone on the ground, equipped with radionor antenna

We have put the Orion 2 tethered UAV system, provided by Elistairs’ Norwegian partner Northcom, through several tests during the last years experiment to test its limits. During these tests, the system has proven to be a flexible and reliable solution capable of handling the challenging operational environment and conditions above the Arctic Circle in Norway. The introduction of the Heavy Lift version also provides us with a very useful tool for lifting communication equipment to create temporary communication coverage in challenging areas of operation.”

Experiment Manager “Tor”

Norwegian Army Combined Arms Battle Laboratory

Orion heavy lift tethered drone on the ground, equipped with radionor antenna

Along with Elistair’s new Payload Development Kit, partners can now seamlessly integrate their payloads and sensors to widen the capabilities of the platform for the end-users. A beta-testing program with selected partners allowed the successful integration of a CORDIS Array II from Radionor, a 5G relay and a SIGINT payload.

First deliveries are planned for end of May 2023.

About Elistair

The “Tethered Drone Company”: Elistair is the leading manufacturer of tethered drone systems for persistent surveillance and tactical communications. The company’s products are used and deployed by armed forces, law enforcement, civil security and private security in over 70 countries for event protection, perimeter surveillance, border protection and pop-up communications. Elistair offices are in France, in the United States in North Carolina, and in Ivory Coast.

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Elistair Press Contact: Marie-Charlotte Fayot –

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Company News › Elistair Introduces Orion HL, a Tethered Drone Designed for Tactical Communications