The Russian Defense Ministry just released the first footage of its B-2-inspired autonomous drone, named “Okhotnik-B,” aka Hunter. The drone, which was first spotted in the wild this past January, is designed to support manned aircraft by striking at targets on the ground. There was an announcement after four days through a video of the flight which was posted by the Russian Defense Ministry.
The Russian Stealth Drone
“Under the test program, a long-duration flight time UCAV Okhotnik has performed its first flight,” TASS reported from a press release. “The first flight took place at 12:20 p.m. Moscow time and lasted for over 20 minutes. The aerial vehicle flown by the operator made several circles around the airfield at an altitude of 600 meters and then successfully landed.” The same was also shown in the video posted on YouTube.
It hasn’t been long since Moscow started developing drones. They also said that they have been able to create an industrial base which is quite impressive. However, the US and other nations have already advanced in technology.
The Okhotnik’s two-ton payload is not particularly large. Professor Vadim Kozyulin the drone would lug unguided fragmentation bombs and fuel-air explosives. Thus, the small payload would suggest it would either have to carry nuclear or precision-guided missiles in order to guarantee its attacks can achieve significant destructive effects. This concept would actually be similar to the U.S. Air Force’s first stealth jet, which was designed to carry just two 2,000-pound laser-guided bombs to hit a small number of targets with a high degree of precision.
It’s been a long time in the making but Russia’s first fighter-size strike drone looks like it’s ready to fly. Russia’s Sukhoi designers created the aircraft without a fuselage—but that doesn’t mean it’s empty. The craft was designed to weigh 20 tons (which is a lot when you consider an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet weighs 16 tons) and can travel nearly 3,100 miles. It also looks remarkably like the X-47B, a U.S. unmanned aircraft which had its first flight back in 2011. So Russia has some catching up to do.
The Okhotnik features stealth technology and the flying wing design (it lacks the tail) and has a take-off weight of 20 tonnes. The drone has a jet engine and is capable of developing a speed of around 1,000 km/h.
According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the Okhotnik-B has an anti-radar coating and is outfitted with equipment for electro-optical, radar and other types of reconnaissance. The remote-controlled Okhotnik model was unveiled at the Army 2019 international defense exhibition outside Moscow in late June.