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Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B

The OKB Sukhoi's Hunter-B [Okhotnik-B], the first Russian heavy drone, is made according to the flying wing aerodynamic scheme, the take-off mass of the machine is about 20 tons, the device is equipped with a jet engine. According to the military, the drone has anti-radar coverage and is equipped with equipment for optoelectronic, radio engineering and other types of reconnaissance.

The Russian Defense Ministry released a video of the first flight of the Okhotnik heavy attack drone developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau (part of the United Aircraft Corporation). The device first made a full-fledged controlled flight with takeoff, maneuvering and landing on 03 August 2019. As it was then reported in the military department, the flight of the device took place at an altitude of up to 600 m around the airfield, the drone was controlled by the operator from the ground. In the video, “Hunter” steers along a strip of a military airfield, then takes off and maneuvers with an unmade landing gear, after which it makes a full-time landing. A gray camouflage coloring is applied to the body of the device. A source in the military-industrial complex told TASS, by the end of 2019, the Okhotnik will make several more flights, one of which can take place in a completely autonomous mode.

The "hunter" entered the final stage of ground tests Interfax reported 28 June 2018 by an informed source. "At the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant (NAZ, a branch of the Sukhoi-IF company), the first roll-out of the drone UHT manned was held - it passes ground tests on the eve of the first flight," the source said. "The first flight of the "Hunter" is expected in 2019," - said the source.

About the ongoing research in the OKB "Sukhoi" research on the creation of heavy drone in 2014, said the director of the Directorate of Military Aircraft Programs of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), ex-commander of the Russian Air Force Vladimir Mikhailov. "Now the work is underway, we are doing work on the Sukhoi Hunter. This machine is very promising, now there is a research work to 2015, with the subsequent transition to experimental design work," Mikhailov said on the radio station "Echo of Moscow".

The characteristics of the developed UAV were not disclosed. According to open data, its take-off weight will be 20 tons, which will make it the heaviest of the developed devices of this type. It was reported that for the first time it will take off in 2018, and in 2020 will be adopted.

In 2017, on the Internet, a photograph of the "Hunter" was seen, cut out from the presentation of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, judging by which, the device is developed according to the "flying wing". The degree of readiness of the first sample of the device from a photograph cut from a presentation by the Russian Ministry of Defense is difficult to determine, since it is not clear whether the on-board equipment is already installed on the device.

The purpose of the research is to create an unmanned reconnaissance and strike system that would have a high speed and autonomy. "Hunter" is characterized as "unmanned aerial sixth generation machine." It is known only that in the "Hunter-B" it is planned to use the technologies of the prospective heavy fighter T-50 (PAK FA).

The work on the research work "Hunter" is carried out by PJSC "Company Sukhoi" under the contract of the Russian Defense Ministry, issued on October 14, 2011. [other sources report "Officially, the development of the impactless drone under the project "Hunter-B" began in October 2012, when the work of the companies "Sukhoi" and "MiG" was ordered by the Russian Defense Ministry."]It was reported that the demonstrator UAV S-70 was produced at the Novosibirsk aviation plant Chkalov - branch of PJSC Company Sukhoi. It is expected that flight tests of the new device will begin in 2018, and in 2020 it will go into service.

The mass of the UAV is in the range of 20 tons. Based on the data on the take-off weight, it can be assumed that this drone will be close in its characteristics to the American drone X-47B development Northrop Grumman. It can fly at high subsonic speeds, operating within a radius of 4,000 kilometers, carrying a diverse target load, including a shock, with a mass of up to two tons.

The Okhotnik has a top speed of 1000 km/h (almost the speed of sound). The drone is highly autonomous thanks to its AI brain. What’s more, some of its technology and ammunition have been borrowed from the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter. “The Okhotnik’s arsenal includes air-to-surface missiles and an array of bombs (glide and operator-controlled) that will not be suspended from the wings, but hidden inside the body to reduce visibility on enemy radar,” Professor Vadim Kozyulin of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences told Russia Beyond. They potentially include the OFZAB-500 high-fragmentation high-explosive incendiary bomb and the ODAB-500PMV fuel-air-explosive bomb, which were used during the campaign in Syria.

“This is not just one of the first strike drones built in Russia, but a platform for testing sixth-generation fighter technologies. I wish to stress that the specifications are still being finalized, but the main feature is already known—fully robotized systems,” Kozyulin made clear. In Russian military terms, “fully robotized” means no pilot and the ability to make independent battle decisions from start to end. “The machine already performs the full cycle of combat operations, with the exception of deploying weapons in battle. This function lies with the operator,” he added.

According to Kozyulin, the airframe is made of composite materials with a radio-reflective coating based on stealth technology.

Russian President Vladimir Putin went to the 929 National Test Flight Center in Ahhtbinsk to inspect the development of Russian military aviation equipment. In Russian media reports, only Su-57, MiG-31BM and "Dagger" hypersonic missiles were reported, but these reports did not mention the mysterious "Hunter-B" drone. The "Hunter-B" drone appeared in the display model queue, which was visible in satellite imagery. Next to the ammunition is the current Russian prototype of the most advanced Su-57 fighter. Parked on the left side of the Su-57 is the Su-35S fighter, Su-34 fighter-bomber, MiG-29K carrier and Su-30SM fighter. Compare the whole, the "Hunter-B" drone in overall size is not inferior to Sukhoi's "Flanker" family,

It can be seen that the "Hunter-B" drone wingspan is significantly wider than the Su-57, but the length of the fuselage is shorter than the Su-57. The comprehensive landmark line and the size of the Su-57 (19.8 meters in length and 13.95 meters in wingspan) concluded that the "Hunter-B" drone should have a wingspan of 17.6 meters and a fuselage length of 13.6 meters. The satellite image is a two-dimensional plan, the height of the fuselage can not be seen, but before the aircraft test flight at Novosibirsk airport, a lot of ground taxiing photos were exposed. It can be speculated from the size of the same trailer that the height of the aircraft should be 2.8 meters. (no tail layout), height between Su-57 and Su-34.

According to previous Russian media speculation, the "hunter-B" drone should have an empty weight of about 20 tons, while the Su-57 has an empty weight of 18 tons. This shows that it is a heavy-duty drone, compared to the United States, Britain, and France. The same level of UAVs in other countries are bigger and heavier, and the performance is not good for the time being.

Russia's Okhotnik (Hunter) heavy strike drone made its first joint test flight with a fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet, which lasted more than 30 minutes, the Russian Defense Ministry said 27 September 2019. During the flight, the drone and the Su-57 practiced interaction for expanding the fighter's radar coverage and detecting targets which could be hit with long-range airborne weapons from outside the zone covered by air defense, it said in a statement. The Okhotnik drone has a "flying wing" configuration and is made with the use of special materials and coatings that make it practically invisible to radars, the statement said. The drone carries optoelectronic, radio engineering and other types of reconnaissance equipment, it added.

Serial deliveries of the latest heavy attack stealth drone Okhotnik to the Russian Ministry of Defense will begin by 2024. The head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yuri Slyusar, reported this on 03 August 2020 to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We received the task from the Ministry of Defense to speed up the development work, to move it" to the left "as much as possible, so that deliveries will start already in 2024. Therefore, we are now actively working with our colleagues on this issue," Slyusar said. He recalled that the "Okhotnik" possesses unprecedented capabilities, the device has the greatest combat range among Russian drones, the widest range of weapons, the widest range of equipment. "Only two countries, the United States and China, design and manufacture machines of this class," the head of the UAC stressed.

The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“hunter” in Russian) will go into production in 2023, the head of state-owned Rostec said on 18 May 2022, while its producer is working on an upgrade for the drone’s ground control equipment. The deadline was revealed by Sergey Chemezov during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. The Russian defense ministry earlier indicated that it expected to receive S-70s in large numbers starting 2024, but the head of Rostec said the deliveries may begin a year earlier.

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Page last modified: 25-05-2022 16:36:17 ZULU