On February 21st, Russian state TV channel released an exclusive video and report showing how the S-70 Okhotnik heavy combat UAV performs its duties.
The Russian heavy attack drone S-70 “Okhotnik” is capable of hitting targets on command from the Su-57 fighter.
Test pilot Evgeny Frolov said this on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel.
According to him, the Su-57 itself determines which target to assign to whom, after which the Hunter strikes. The pilot does not need to say anything in order to give the command to the drone.
In the near future, Frolov noted, “Okhotnik” will be controlled by an automated system without manual control.
At present, the the Okhotnik ground operator station is equipped with control knobs as in a manned fighter, a keyboard and several liquid crystal multifunctional screens displaying various information from the onboard systems and cameras of the vehicle.
Russia has returned to the top league of countries that have their own systems of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a qualitative step forward is the use of attack UAVs in the Russian army, said Denis Fedutinov, a leading Russian expert in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, who was cited by Russian state outlet RIA.
According to him, the beginning of the use of attack drones in the Russian Armed Forces “represents a qualitative step forward in the development of the UAV fleet owned by the Russian Armed Forces and the expansion of its functionality.”
The expert pointed out that the volume of work performed over the past decade on the topic of UAVs, the formed design teams and the created scientific and technical groundwork will allow the implementation of promising projects in a shorter time frame.
“And new projects should be initiated today, so as not to be in the position of catching up again,” concluded Fedutinov.
The Okhotnik attack unmanned aerial vehicle was developed at the Sukhoi Design Bureau. According to open sources, it has a length of 14 meters, a wingspan of 19 meters, and a take-off weight of 20 tons. The Hunter’s maximum speed reaches thousands of kilometers per hour. The drone is made according to the “flying wing” scheme with the use of materials that reduce radar signature.
The “Okhotnik” is said to be capable of autonomously hitting stationary ground targets and limited mobile targets with known coordinates, including when receiving external target designation in the air. As the head of the UAC, Yuri Slyusar, said in August 2020, the corporation plans to start serial deliveries of “Hunters” to the Aerospace Forces from 2024.
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