The Russian S-70 Okhotnik (‘Hunter’) attack drone developed by Sukhoi was spotted flying in formation with a MiG-29 fighter jet.
A video circulating on social media shows the flying wing-shaped drone flying ahead of a MiG-29, in what appears to be a flight test. Neither the location nor the date of the video was confirmed.
What is the S-70 Okhotnik attack drone?
The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik drone is powered by an AL-31 turbojet engine and is expected to fly at a top speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour, with a range of 6,000 km. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it is equipped with electro-optical targeting, radio, and “other types of reconnaissance equipment”. Its two internal bays can carry up to 2.8 tons of weapons.
The S-70 is supposed to eventually operate in collaboration with Russian fighters to extend their radar field, a concept known among Western manufacturers as a collaborative combat aircraft or a loyal wingman. It should also be able to use its stealth abilities to designate long-range targets for its leader aircraft without being detected.
The first S-70 prototype made its maiden flight in August 2019, before completing a sortie in formation with a Su-57 fighter jet in September 2019. In January 2021, the drone reportedly destroyed a target on the ground during tests, using unguided 500-kilogram bombs dropped from its internal hold.
Serial production and delivery of the S-70 Okhotnik was slated to begin in 2024. In April 2023, the Russian news agency TASS reported that production will be taking place at the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant (NAZ) by 2025.