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Russia Displays Stealth Strike Drone Prototype

Russia rolled out the flight prototype of its stealth heavy strike drone Okhotnik at the Novosibirsk Aviation Enterprise in preparation for flight trials, TASS reported.

The state-run outlet quoted deputy defense minister Alexey Krivoruchko as saying the development “signifies the end of the item’s assembly as a whole and its outfitting with all the required onboard equipment.” He added that the unmanned aerial vehicle will now undergo “comprehensive ground tests to prepare for its debut flight.”

According to United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yury Slyusar,  the completion of trials will be followed by the drone’s serial production. The state-run Sukhoi Design Bureau-developed drone took its first flight in 2019 and is scheduled for deployment in 2024.

‘Wingman’ Role

Okhotnik engine developer Motor Design Bureau revealed that the “second version” of the drone will be outfitted with a “thruster with a new flat nozzle” to “reduce the drone’s signature for enemy heat-seeking missiles.” The prototype already features a tailless design for a reduced profile.

The drone has a maximum take-off weight of 20 tons and can fly at a speed of up to 1,000 kph (621 mph). It has been trialed as a wingman with the Su-57 fighter since 2019, and a twin-seat version of the fifth-generation aircraft is reportedly being developed, capable of controlling four Okhotniks simultaneously.

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