First flight: 2019
Type: Multi-purpose reconnaissance combat UAV
Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B Review and Performance
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B (Hunter) UAV is designed as a “flying wing” without a tail fin. Special materials and coatings are widely used in the design of the drone, which significantly reduces the EPR of the UAV. This machine can carry out reconnaissance missions – for this purpose, it is equipped with optoelectronic and radio equipment, as well as striking missions. the number 7 represents the theme number of the design bureau. At the same time, the number 7 brings good luck to the design bureau and the aircraft built by it. 7 is also a kind of symbol, except that C-70 is the serial number of the design bureau’s theme. 7 is a good luck number for Sukhoi design bureau aircraft such as Su-7, Su-17, Su-27, Su-57, etc. It is considered to be a good omen.
The Russian Ministry of Defense approved the requirement specifications for the attack UAV on April 1, 2012, and on July 6, 2012, media reported that the Russian Air Force had chosen Sukhoi as the main developer of the UAV. Also, according to an unnamed source in the industry, the UAV developed by Sukhoi will simultaneously become a sixth-generation fighter jet.
Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B: Weight and Speed
Russia has been wanting a UAV equal to or better than the American one for years. Thus was born the Scat project, a large reconnaissance and attack drone developed by Mikoyan and Gurevich Design Bureau and Klimov JSC. Its estimated maximum take-off weight is 20 tons. The maximum speed is about 850 km/h. But beyond the mock-up, the project is apparently frozen.
“Scat” can be considered as Russia’s answer to the American X-47B and its predecessor “Hunter”. Both aircraft use the “Flying Wing” aerodynamic scheme and are built for low visibility and multi-functionality. But only the C-70 was destined to survive and make its first flight: the Hunter took to the skies for the first time on August 3, 2019. The aircraft, under the control of an operator, made several laps around the airfield before making a successful landing.
Open-source information, for the most part, has little to do with reality. For example, the maximum speed is sometimes indicated as 1,400 kilometers per hour, which is inconsistent with the aerodynamic planning capabilities of the “flying wing. A similar exaggeration of characteristics we saw in the interest of time in the example of the fifth-generation fighter Su-57, which journalists endowed with some “superpowers”. Later, it turned out that the machine’s potential is somewhat understated: for example, the plane can carry not ten missiles in its internal compartment, but rather six.
One thing is certain: the C-70 has become very large. This is confirmed by new photos where the vehicle can be seen in the background of fighter jets, especially the Su-57. The photo was taken on May 14, 2019, during a demonstration of the aircraft to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the airfield of the 929th State Flight Test Range, named after V.P. Chkalov. Little has changed since then. There are other Su fighters standing nearby besides the 5th generation fighter, but you can clearly see that the C-70 has a larger wingspan or comparable length and is slightly shorter in length.
So, dimensionally, the Hunter is roughly equivalent to a light fighter, which of course is a lot for a drone. However, this cannot be considered a drawback, especially since the American Northrop Grumman X-47B has similar dimensions.
Performance and Features
Little is known about the capabilities of Russian drones. It was previously reported in open source that the C-70’s onboard avionics equipment includes information and control systems, automatic control systems, interface equipment with general-purpose equipment, onboard equipment monitoring, and diagnostic systems, and inertial satellite navigation systems. control system, automatic control system, interface equipment with general-purpose equipment, onboard equipment monitoring, and diagnostic system, and inertial satellite navigation system.
The specifications of the UAV are kept secret by the Ministry of Defense, but according to Russian media, the maximum range of the drone is 3.5 thousand kilometers, the maximum speed is 920 km/h, and the flight altitude is up to 10.5 kilometers. Without refueling, the UAV can stay in the air for more than a day.
The airborne avionics of the UAV includes a data management system, radar complex, automatic control system, monitoring and diagnostics of airborne equipment, and inertial satellite navigation system.
The radar complex and communications systems allow the S-70 to extend the radar fields of other fighters and allow for remote target designation. This makes it possible to deliver long-range weapons without entering the enemy’s air defense zone.
However, the most mysterious and least known aspect of the Hunter is its armament. The UAV is expected to carry guided missiles and both guided and unguided bombs. The parts are located in the bomb bay of the aircraft. There are reports that the C-70 will be equipped with modular guided air strikes being developed by Tactical Missile Arms. In particular, the 9-A-7759 Thunder high-precision glide bomb. Their mock-up has already been dropped from a heavy Okhotnik UAV.
While it was remotely controlled by a pilot during testing, the Hunter is a fully robotic UAV, capable of operating autonomously. Thanks to the onboard artificial intelligence system, the drone is able to dynamically react to changing conditions and perform predetermined functions. It is true that there may be problems associated with UAV combat techniques and control tactics at long range in congested airspace where manned vehicles and other forces are present. However, their solutions are apparently still being considered by the creators.
If the Hunter could work with the Su-57, it would be able to conduct reconnaissance, create diversions, and conduct electronic warfare. In this case, the giant drone could penetrate enemy airspace, jam radar, and signal transmissions, and open a “window” for missiles and manned fighters.