The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”) attack drone made its first flight with a fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet.
The flight lasted for more than half an hour and was carried out in autonomous mode from one of the Russian Ministry of Defense test airfields. It is part of an ongoing flight test program for the UAV.
This first sortie is particularly critical as the S-70 is supposed to eventually operate in collaboration with the Su-57 fighter jet to extend the latter’s radar field. It should also be able to use its stealth abilities to designate long-range targets for its leader aircraft without being detected.
The Okhotnik UAV is powered by an AL-31 turbojet engine and is equipped with electro-optical targeting, radio, and “other types of reconnaissance equipment,” according to the Defense Ministry. The demonstrator made its maiden flight on August 7, 2019. At the time the aircraft flew for 20 minutes and reached an altitude of 600 meters (1,970 feet).
Testing of the aircraft’s armament should start by 2024, with an entry into service expected for the following year.