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Russia builds three more stealth heavy S-70 Okhotnik UAVs

MOSCOW, (BM) – The Novosibirsk Aviation Plant Chkalov (NAZ) builds three more prototypes of the heavy drone S-70 Okhotnik, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a source from the military-industrial complex and the Russian media RIA Novosti.

Russian Ministry of Defence Released a Video of First UAV Okhotnik Flight
Photo credit: YouTube

“NAZ is building three more prototypes of the S-70 UAV – the second, third and fourth. According to the plan, they should be consistently linked to flight tests in 2022-2023,” said the source.

He did not specify the degree of assembly of each sample. Still, he noted that the manufacturer would make changes in the second device’s design based on the operational experience of the first Okhotnik, whose flight tests began in August 2019.

“The improvements will relate in particular to the systems of the onboard electronic equipment and the structural elements of the glider,” the interlocutor of the agency continued. He also added that the third and fourth drones “will match the production version of the Okhotnik. The United Aircraft Corporation declined to comment on the information provided by the RIA Novosti source.

As previously reported by another source from the agency in the military-industrial complex, the serial UAVs will be equipped with AL-41F engines without additional combustion. These power plants will fit the fuselage dimensions, and, accordingly, the vehicles will receive a standard flat nozzle to reduce their thermal and radar signature further.

RIA Novosti’s source also noted that the heavy UAV S-70 would become a multifunctional vehicle with the ability to work on all types of both air and ground targets. Okhotnik’s concept of combat use is based on reduced visibility in all ranges, long flight range, high-precision long-range weapons, and a high level of aircraft intellectualization.

S-70 Okhotnik had developed in the design office Sukhoi; it is made according to the aerodynamic design of the “flying wing.” According to open sources, the drone’s length is 14 meters, the wingspan is 19 meters, and the takeoff weight is 20 tons—subsonic maximum flight speed – up to 1000 kilometers per hour.

As reported by the Ministry of Defense, the first flight of the newest drone took place on August 3, 2019. According to RIA Novosti sources, the first sample of Okhotnik has already begun to use weapons for testing. The device mainly performs flights with air-to-air missiles’ functional simulators and bombs a ground target at the Ashuluk test site.

As UAC chief Yuri Slyusar said in August 2020, the corporation plans to begin mass deliveries of Okhotniks to the aerospace forces by 2024.

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