The S-70 Okhotnik-B, or Hunter, is a Russian stealth heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle, developed by the Sukhoi Group.
The current test aircraft – the S-70 Okhotnik-B, uses a AL-31F engine, the empty weight is 20 tons, the maximum takeoff weight is 25 tons. It is 13.6 m long and 17.6 m wide. The S70 can reach a top speed of 1,000 km/h and a combat radius of 4,000 km. Okhotnik-B is designed with a stealth coating. The internal weapon bay can carry up to 6 tons of ammunition.
Compared with today’s advanced UCAV, the US X-47B has an empty weight of 6.3 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 20 tons; France’s Dassault nEUROn weighs about 5 tons; Britain’s Taranis has a maximum takeoff weight of just 8 tons.
Thus, the Russian S-70 UCAV, although released at the latest, but the heaviest, and it is nearing completion. Currently, the Novosibirsk Chkalov Aviation Plant is building three more S-70 prototypes.
Unlike other attack drones, the S-70 is designed to be a squadron. Its main mission, is to support manned fighters. The S-70 can automatically take off and coordinate actions thanks to the artificial intelligence system, which is built in according to the parameters of the sensors.
While on duty, the S-70 does not require an operator to perform specific operations. It can understand and obey the pilot’s combat instructions on a fighter, the artificial intelligence system will automatically execute the command.
According to the Russian press, at present the trials of the drone is still based on the operator. Test flights are underway, with air-to-air missile simulations, and using 500 kg FAB-500 M-62 bombs to attack targets.
In the future, the S-70 can use all of the Su-57’s weapons. And even without the pilot’s voice guidance, it can independently carry out the mission and guide the target for the pilot.
Currently, the main rival of the S-70 is the US XQ-58A. XQ-58A also uses a single jet engine, can reach speeds of Mach 0.72 and carries bombs. However, the jet engine is the FJ33, with a maximum thrust of 6.7 kN.
With such weak thrust very limited the ability of the aircraft to operate. The internal weapon bay could only carry two small-diameter bombs, and the combat radius is only 1,000 km. The XQ-58A has a maximum takeoff weight of only 2.7 tons, while the S-70 can carry a maximum of 6 tons of bombs.