Russia has rolled out the first flight prototype of the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”) stealth drone ahead of trials and future serial production, state media reported.
The unveiling that took place on Tuesday was attended by Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister, Alexey Krivoruchko.
“The drone’s roll-out signifies the end of the item’s assembly as a whole and its outfitting with all the required onboard equipment in compliance with the requirements for aircraft and the switchover to comprehensive ground tests to prepare for its debut flight,” the deputy defense minister said.
The Russian deputy defense minister who is on a working trip to Novosibirsk inspected the pace of the fulfillment of the defense procurement plan at the Novosibirsk Aviation Enterprise and held a meeting with the enterprise’s management where he discussed the implementation of government contracts. The defense official oversaw the roll-out of the first Okhotnik drone flight prototype and inspected the process of the assembly of the drone’s second prototype.
“The United Aircraft Corporation of the Rostec state corporation unveiled the S-70 ‘Okhotnik’ drone furnished with a flat jet nozzle,” Rostec said, commenting on the drone’s roll-out.
“The new Okhotnik features a flat thrust nozzle as its major feature, which reduces its radar signature,” Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov was quoted as saying.
As United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) CEO Yury Slyusar pointed out, the work under the Okhotnik program is a key area for the Sukhoi Company and the UAC. ‘Today we are making all efforts to complete the trials as soon as possible and launch serial production,” the chief executive said.
The S-70 ‘Okhotnik’ drone developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau features stealth technology and the flying wing design (it lacks the tail), which reduces its radar signature. According to the data of open sources, the drone has a take-off weight of 20 tonnes and can develop a speed of around 1,000 km/h. The drone’s serial deliveries to the troops are due to begin in 2024.
The Okhotnik heavy attack drone performed its debut flight on August 3, 2019. The flight lasted over 20 minutes under an operator’s control. On September 27, 2019, the Okhotnik performed a flight together with a Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. The drone maneuvered in the air in automated mode at an altitude of around 1,600 meters and its flight lasted over 30 minutes.
U.S. media has compared the Okhotnik to the B-2 stealth bomber.
According to UAC’s comments to TASS, the Okhotnik will be able to strike aerial and ground targets as part of network-centric warfare with Su-57 fifth-generation fighters.
TASS also reported that a Su-57 pilot would simultaneously coordinate four or more Okhotnik drones.
Serial deliveries of the Okhotnik are expected to begin in 2024, TASS said.