Russia wants first S-70 Okhotnik Hunter UAV in 2024 to fly along Su-57 stealth jets

The first Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”) attack drone should be delivered to the Russian military in 2024 after the Ministry of Defense demanded to speed up the experimental work on the upcoming unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

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Russia wants first S 70 Okhotnik Hunter UAV in 2024 to fly along Su 57 stealth jets 925 001 The Sukhoi S-70 Hunter UAV. (Picture source: Russian ministry of defence)

Moscow has ordered United Aircraft (UAC) to speed up deliveries of its S-70 Okhotnik “Hunter” unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to 2024. The stealthy, flying-wing UAV was to be initially delivered in 2025.

The accelerated delivery schedule was acknowledged publicly for the first time when Russian President Vladimir Putin met with UAC chief executive Yuri Slyusar for an update on the company’s product development plans on 3 August.

The S-70 is supposed to eventually operate in collaboration with the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet to extend the latter’s radar field. It should also be able to use its stealth abilities to designate long-range targets for its leader aircraft without being detected. Reported, it will be equipped with a new version of R-77 too for air superiority.

Russia wants first S 70 Okhotnik Hunter UAV in 2024 to fly along Su 57 stealth jets 925 002 The Sukhoi S-70 Hunter UAV at MAKS 19. (Picture source: MuxelAero/Twitter account)

About the Sukhoi S-70 Hunter UCAV:

The flying wing unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) is being developed under the Udarno-Razvedyvatelnyi Bespilotnyi Kompleks (URBK), or Strike-Reconnaissance Unmanned Complex, program with Sukhoi as the project lead. The Russian Defense Ministry reportedly ordered the design bureau to begin the development and construction of the Okhotnik prototype in October 2011.

The S-70 is similar in appearance to flying-wing UAVs built by several nations, including China’s Sharp Sword, France’s Dassault Neuron, the UK’s BAE Systems Taranis and the USA’s Northrop Grumman X-47B. The flying wing shape inherently has a lower radar cross-section, although Russia says its jet is also coated in radar-absorbent paint.

The Sukhoi S-70 Hunter is way larger than its Western counterparts like Dassault nEUROn and Northrop Grumman X-47B. With 20 meters in wingspan and a length of 14 meters, its mass is supposedly around 20 tons (against 4.9 for the Dassault nEUROn and 6.3 for the Northrop Grumman X-47B). It is expected to fly at a speed of 1,000 km/h, for a range of 6,000 km and its two internal bays should embark up to 2.8 tons of weapons.

According to the Ministry of Defence, S-70 Okhotnikis powered by an AL-31 turbojet engine and is equipped with electro-optical targeting, radio, and “other types of reconnaissance equipment”.