The most recent news from RIA Novosti has clarified a lot of previous speculation among Russian military specialists.
An vital test has just passed!
A source in the defence industry told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti a few hours ago that a test shot at a ground target by the S-70 Okhotnik-B (Hunter) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) -B) was successful.
The unidentified guided missile used in the test was one of the weapons designed exclusively for the Su-57 5th generation stealth fighter, according to the source.
“A series of guided missile launches were conducted as part of flight tests on the S-70 Okhotnik-B weapon’s first prototype.
The Su-57 fighter’s weaponry included some types of air-to-surface missiles that were employed to destroy ground targets.”
“The weapon (S-70B Okhotnik) can efficiently attack small disguised targets with missiles at all hours and in all conditions,” the source noted after a series of successful launches.
It should be mentioned that in January 2021, the UCAV Okhotnik conducted its first unguided bomb attack.
|The S-70 Okhotnik-B is a “flying wing” unmanned combat aircraft using the same stealth technologies and materials as Sukhoi’s Su-57 (a member of Rostec Corporation).|
The UCAV is 14 metres long, 19 metres wide, and has a take-off weight of more than 20 tonnes, which is quite similar to the Su-57 (19.8 metres long, 14 metres wide, and 18 metres take-off weight).
So far, two S-70 Okhotnik-B prototypes have been built: one for testing (first flight in August 2019) and one for production at the Aviation Plant’s workshop. Novosibirsk in December 2021.
The engine is the biggest difference between the two prototypes. The second prototype had an afterburner-less engine that was lighter, better matched the fuselage, and produced a flat nozzle that reduced heat and radar visibility.
Answer a series of questions?
Returning to the report from RIA Novosti, the question is: what has the S-70 Okhotnik-newest B’s test proven?
First, based on information on the vertical tail of one of the four Su-57 warplanes that missed the Victory Day parade on May 9 with the main image of the 5th generation stealth fighter and the “winged” aircraft.
And the fact that Sergey Chemezov, the CEO of Rostec Corporation, revealed the start date for mass production of the UCAV S-70 Okhotnik-B for the Russian Ministry of Defense at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on May 21st, 2023.
It means that information about the weapon’s successful fire test by the manufacturer, which came just a week after the announcement, indicates that the S-70 Okhotnik may have attained the requisite capabilities to be classified as a heavy UCAV and included in the Russian Army’s next testing steps.
Second, the answer is related to analyst Roman Skomorokhov’s comment on Topwar.ru on May 14 that the S-70 was not created to be a “decoy” because it is as expensive as the Su-57. When used in conjunction with the Su-57, it can be used as a “reload box” to improve firepower.
The minimum armament load of the S-70 Okhotnik-B can be 2 tonnes, according to the Russian expert, and the fact that one Su-57 can manage up to four S-70s (unconfirmed) makes one flying. This type of team can deliver tens of tonnes of bombs and bullets to a target while remaining undetected.
The fact that the S-70 can use the same armament as the Su-57 is certainly a “hint” that will enable the preceding statement become more stable.
However, the Russian Army, which will most likely get the world’s first heavy attack UCAV next year, has the final and most precise response to the aforementioned issues.