Russia’s Okhotnik Stealth Combat Drone Conducts Maiden Flight

Russia’s S-70 Okhotnik (Hunter) stealth heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has performed its maiden flight on August 3.

The drone flew for about 20 minutes at an altitude of 600 meters above Chkalov State Flight Test Center in Astrakhan near the Caspian Sea.

The UCAV, also referred to as Okhotnik-B, has been under development since at least 2011, when Sukhoi was selected by the Russian Defence Ministry to lead a programme for a new heavy unmanned reconnaissance and attack drone.

The development of the new drone is being jointly carried out by MiG and Sukhoi and the design is based on the former’s Mikoyan Skat UCAV programme. The drone is manufactured at Sukhoi’s Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO).

The Okhotnik’s design is based on the flying-wing scheme and incorporates use of composite materials and stealth coatings, making the drone low-observable in flight. It has a weight of about 20 tons and a wingspan around 65 feet (20 m).

The drone is powered either by a single AL-31F turbofan, as used on the Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft, or by the improved AL-41F derivative installed on Su-35S fighters and Su-57 prototypes.

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