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Sukhoi's Okhotnik UCAV could fly by year-end

Russia will start testing its new heavy-attack drone Okhotnik (Hunter) this year, TASS news agency reported Sunday, citing a defense industry source.

Sukhoi Okhotnik UCAV could  by year end 001 A photo of the Okhotnik UCAV that emerged on the internet last year
(Credit: Sputnik/Anton Denisov)

"The work on the heavy long-range unmanned aerial vehicle is at the concluding stage. In particular, work has been completed to create a prototype that will begin test flights this year," the source said.

"The work is being carried out at the Novosibirsk-based Chkalov Aviation Plant (part of the Sukhoi Aircraft Company)," the source added.

According to open sources, a contract on developing the heavy attack drone Okhotnik weighing 20 tonnes was signed between Russia’s Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi Aircraft Company in 2011. A mockup of the drone was created in 2014 to hold ground tests.

The drone weighs 20 tons, is reportedly powered by an AL-31F turbojet engine AL-31F, and is capable of flying at a speed of up to 1,000 km per hour. According to previous reports, its range could stand at about 6,000 kilometers