How powerful is the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik drone, the world’s one of the first loyal wingman, heavy and stealth drones, and Russia’s most durable UCAV?
According to Russian Satellite News Agency Moscow, the Russian S-70B “Hunter” heavy stealth attack drone recently launched an air-to-ground missile fitted with the Su-57 stealth fighter at ground targets during a test flight, according to persons acquainted with the Russian army.
“During flying tests, the S-70B prototype was subjected to missile tests. The ‘Hunter’ also used several Su-57’s air-to-surface missiles, firing live fire at ground targets.”
Generally speaking, the military UAVs currently being developed by the world’s great powers are mainly for reconnaissance, ground attack, intelligence gathering, and other tasks. Few aircraft types can perform air-to-air combat missions. However, Russia, which is “come from behind” in this field, has sacrificed a “big killer,” a heavy stealth reconnaissance/fighter (attack aircraft) S-70 Okhotnik, also known as the “Hunter-B” UAV combat airplane. This S-70 “Hunter” can be said to be one of the most potent UAVs currently launched by Russia.
The aircraft was designed and developed by the famous Sukhoi Aircraft Company and produced by the Novosibirsk Aircraft Factory. The project started in 2011 and was officially approved by the Russian Ministry of Defense in April 2012. The first flight was successful in August 2019. The expected service time for around 2024.
The S-70 “Hunter” drone has an empty weight of about 20 tons and a maximum take-off weight of 25 tons. This weight is believed to be the heaviest one in the field of military drones so far, and the US “Global Hawk” is no more than that. About 10 tons.
The aircraft has a wingspan of 19 meters and a length of 14 meters. The internal magazine can carry 2.8 tons of various weapons and ammunition, including various guided and unguided munitions, air-to-surface, air-to-air missiles, and reduced versions of hypersonic missiles. Arms.
Last year, the aircraft conducted a test launch of air-to-air missiles, and its primary purpose was to test the performance of the S-70 in air-to-air combat? According to the Russians, the ultimate goal of this drone will be able to confront the US F-35 or even the F-22 directly.
The S-70 initially used the AL-31F engine equipped on the Su-27 fighter in terms of power. The subsequent version chose the AL-41F engine (reduced and improved performance) with a vectoring nozzle used by the Su-57. The maximum thrust can reach 147 kN. This drone can reach a top-flight speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour with abundant power. It is likely to achieve supersonic flight on its automatic version in the future, with a range of about 6,000 kilometers.
The S-70’s debut was at the MAKS 2019 international air and space show, where Sukhoi showed off a flying-wing design layout. According to the introduction of the staff, this UAV used some of the technology on the Su-57 fighter jet during the development process. The fuselage was coated with a stealth coating, and many unique materials were used. The radar reflection area is minimal during the flight, and it has Complete stealth.
The currently displayed S-70 is one of its two versions, a traditional crewless combat aircraft that relies on ground control stations to control and can also be used as a “deputy” application for the Su-57 fighter, which is somewhat similar to the “loyal wingman” developed by the United States Similar; In contrast, the other version will be equipped with an AI system capable of flying and fighting in automatic mode.