ISLAMABAD - Under development since 2012, the 20+ tonne stealthy flying wing design began rigorous military testing earlier this year.
The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle may one day become a full-fledged replacement for all sorts of combat aircraft, including the latest generation of Russian fighter jets, Izvestia has reported link, citing the military and a military aircraft specialist monitoring recent trends.
A spokesperson from Russia’s defence ministry told the newspaper that the aerospace forces planned to create a detachment of Okhotniks in the western and southern military districts by 2024.
The stealthy UAVs, which feature composite materials and stealth coatings, have been designed to slip past enemy radar systems with an arsenal of up to 2.8 tonnes of arms, including cruise missiles, precision bombs, and air-to-air weapons, onboard, replacing manned aircraft entirely in particularly dangerous situations.
The defence ministry began flight testing link the Okhotnik in August, Sputnik has reported.