United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) rolled out the second prototype of the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik combat drone. 

This version of the aircraft is said to have a flat jet exhaust nozzle, a feature that will improve its stealth characteristics.  

The manufacturer also said that the drone will receive a new ground control station, which will increase its effectiveness. 

“The work on ‘Okhotnik’ is one of the key directions for Sukhoi and UAC,” Yuri Slyusar, the general director of the UAC, said at the ceremony, according to a press release published by Russian state conglomerate, Rostec. 

“Today we are doing our best to finish testing [the S-70 – AeroTime] and start the serial production,” Slyusar added. 

In August 2019, UAC revealed that the final design of the vehicle will feature a flat exhaust nozzle, a feature that should reduce its radar and infrared signature. This feature is also present on some earlier American and Russian test aircraft as well as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet. 

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Less than a month after revealing that the S-70 Okhotnik had taken to the skies for the first time, Sukhoi presented a redesigned version of its unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) at the MAKS international air show.
 

 

While the nozzle is not visible in photographs published by UAC, nor by its parent company Rostec, glimpses of the feature have been seen in some news segments on Russian television.  

According to UAC, serial production of the drone should start in 2024, with the first delivery expected later the same year. 

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The Russian defense minister visited the assembly line of the S-70 Okhotnik combat drone as it prepares for serial production.