Called NATO's Nightmare, Russia's S-70 Okhotnik-B Drone and Su-57 Fighter Plane Launch 'Drone Swarms'

Called NATO's Nightmare, Russia's S-70 Okhotnik-B Drone and Su-57 Fighter Plane Launch 'Drone Swarms'
The Russia's S-70 Okhotnik-B Drone and Su-57 Fighter Plane Launch 'Drone Swarms'

International Military - Russia demonstrates the capabilities of the S-70 stealth drone and Su-57 fighter aircraft. The two Russian defense equipment seemed to show a stern warning to the world's military.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Russia had completed tests of the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B heavy attack drone in simulated air-to-air combat at the Ashuluk training ground. The exercise aims to assess the drone's compatibility with the Su-57 stealth fighter in the unmanned wingman role.

The Russian Military-Industrial Commission Council has previously announced that the delivery of the Okhotnik (Russian for Hunter), a stealthy heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), is on track to enter service by 2024.

Quoted from in an article titled 'NATO Nightmare: Russian S-70 Stealth Drone And Su-57 Fighter Launch 'Drone Swarms'', it was also only last month that Russian state media reported that serial production of the drone would begin in 2023.” The first flying prototype will be launched in 2021 and we will start serial production and deliver it to the Ministry of Defense in 2023," Sergey Chemezov, head of state technology company Rostec, told a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Tass.

The fighter drone is being developed by Sukhoi and the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG as a sixth-generation aircraft project, and is based on the earlier Mikoyan Skat, which was also designed by MiG.

It is considered to be in the same drone class as the Dassault nEUROn or the Boeing Loyal Wingman, each of which can act as a force multiplier and enhance the capabilities of manned aircraft, particularly the fifth and sixth generation stealth multirole fighters.

Drones can substantially extend the sensor and weapon range of a manned fighter aircraft, allowing for greater area coverage and kills per mission. Up to four S-70s can work in tandem with a single fighter jet, while a two-seat Su-57 variant is also reportedly designed to control a swarm of heavy Okhotnik combat drones.

The S-70 Okhotnik drone features stealth technology and a tailless flying wing design, which reduces its radar signature. According to data from the Russian Ministry of Defense, the drone has an anti-radar coating and is equipped with equipment for electro-optics, radar and other types of reconnaissance. This flying hunter has a take-off weight of 20 tons and can accelerate to about 1,000 km/h.

It is also believed to be powered by one of the same AL-31F turbofans used on the Sukhoi Su-27 fighter, or by an upgraded AL-41F derivative mounted on the Su-35S fighter and Su-57 prototype aircraft. It has a range of 6,000 km and a combat range of 4,000 km.

It also has two internal weapons bays that can carry up to 2,000 kg of guided and unguided ammunition. The Okhotnik heavy attack drone made its debut flight on August 3, 2019 which lasted a little over 20 minutes under operator control.

On 27 September 2019, the Okhotnik was used in a test flight together with the Su-57 fifth generation fighter jet. The drone successfully maneuvered through the air in automatic mode at an altitude of about 1,600 meters and the flight lasted more than 30 minutes.

Quoted from Military Watch Magazine, the Su-57 is a Russian fighter aircraft that entered service from December 2020. It is known that only five next-generation Su-57 fighter aircraft are currently still in service with the Russian Air Force out of a total order of 76 fighter aircraft ordered in 2018. summer 2019.

The Su-57 is the first Russian fighter aircraft in service that is not based on a Soviet-era design. The Su-57 fighter is expected to be produced in the hundreds with accelerated production after the current State Armament Plan ends in 2027.

Total production from 2025-2027 is scheduled to be around 14 fighters per year. A number of ambitious programs to modernize the Su-57 fighter aircraft are expected to drastically improve its performance over initial production variants and potentially allow it to compete at the sixth generation level. This was done to counter future Western jets being developed under programs like FX.

While the Su-57 produced after 2025 will be an upgraded 'Su-57M' variant, it is still uncertain which new features are being developed that will set it apart from the previous model.

There are at least five most anticipated upcoming features for the Russian Su-57 fighter, namely the Saturn 30; Kh-47M2 derivative hypersonic ballistic missile; artificial intelligence co-pilot, drone command, and drone mode; R-37M and K-77M air-to-air missiles; and laser defense and energy weapons.

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