Russia Pulls Stealth UAV Delivery Date a Full Year, Getting Ahead of Competition
After Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Yuri Slyusar, the CEO of United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) on August 3, it was revealed that S-70 Okhotnik stealth attack drone (will be referred to as Okhotnik) deliveries to the Russian Defense Ministry were rescheduled to 2024.
It was originally planned to ship to in 2025. The Okhotnik drones are being developed by Sukhoi, a UAC subsidiary. The first flight of an Okhotnik prototype took place in August 2019.
Moscow based news agency Interfax reports that the specs of the drone are not completely revealed. What we know is that it will be 62 ft (19 mt) long with a 45 ft (14 mt) wingspan. Which is similar to another Sukhoi creation, Su-57 fighter jet.
Its maximum takeoff weight is expected to be 22 tons (20 tonnes) which makes it the heaviest drone in production. The stealth drone also will be able to carry about 6.5 tons (5.8 tonnes) of bombs and has a total range of over 3,000 miles (4,800 km).
The CEO of UAC Slyusar said "The Okhotnik is our heavy drone, which has unprecedented capabilities; it has the broadest range, the broadest weapons selection, the broadest equipment range," and added that the only other countries that run such projects are the US and China.
According to the Defense Ministry of Russia, the Okhotnik comes equipped with radio and optical-electronic recon equipment. It's a flying wing type of aircraft that according to Slyusar "uses special materials and covers that make it practically invisible to radar."
The drone was first revealed during the MAKS 2019 event, Vladimir Putin demonstrated the features of the aircraft to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Putin was quoted saying, "Combat payload: six tonnes. Radio detectability: even less than the Sukhoi Su-57's"