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Video of Russian armed forces showing Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik stealth UAV first flight.

| 2019

Today, August 7, 2019, Russian armed forces have released a video on their YouTube account showing first flight test of the Sukhoi S-70 "Okhotnik". The contract for developing the Okhotnik combat drone weighing 20 tons was signed between the military agency and the Sukhoi Company in 2011.

Video of Russian armed forces showing Sukhoi S 70 Okhotnik stealth UAV first flight 925 001
Russian-made Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik stealth unmanned aerial vehicle has performed its first flight test. (Picture source Russian MoD)

According to unconfirmed sources, the Okhotnik is made of composite materials and a radar-absorbing coat. It has a jet power plant and is supposed to develop a speed of up to 1,000 kilometers. Possibly, Russia is developing a drone identical to such foreign analogs as X-47B (Northrop Grumman) and Phantom Ray (Boeing).

The first photos of the Russian heavy combat drone Okhotnik appeared on the Internet in February 2019. The drone was a secret yet in the autumn of 2018. The emergence of the first pictures shows that Okhotnik is likely to fly in 2019 as scheduled. The engagement tactic is of interest, the Army Standard writes.

The Sukhoi S-70 has a wingspan of 20 m. It can fly at a maximum speed of 1,000 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 6,000 km. I t has two internal weapons bays able to carry up to 2,000 kg of guided and unguided weapons. The Okhotnik is distinguished from US Predator by stealth technologies and presumably by powerful electronic warfare. It means it can be engaged in the area of adversary air defense.

Today, Russian armed forces do not operate armed drones, but the State Weapons Program 2018-2027 allocates funds for UCAV procurement. Current Russian thinking for future UCAV employment is that reconnaissance and armed drones would be used in a group, exchanging data among themselves through a secure datalink and assisting manned aircraft in the case of an armed conflict with a technologically developed opponent.

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