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The prototype of Russia’s Okhotnik heavy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) published in January looks like a stealthy flying wing aircraft, although its conventional looking turbofan (likely of the AL-31/41 series) nozzle was unshrouded, which might eventually change as its development progresses.

Also designated as the S-70, its take-off weight is reported to be about 20 tons. Its maximum speed reaches 1,000 km/h.

The design and development of the Unmanned Strike-Reconnaissance System by Sukhoi is thought to have commenced in 2011. The Russian government signed a development deal with the Sukhoi Design Bureau, at which time the drone was described as a “sixth-generation aircraft” powered by two non-afterburning Klimov RD-33MK engines or a single Sukhoi Su-57 engine, according to popularmechanics.com.

Inferring from the photos, the aircraft’s wingspan is 19 m, according to janes.com. Three landing gear units, two single-wheel side, and one two-wheel frontally mounted observed on the heavy UAV appear to closely match those fitted to Russia’s Su-57 next-generation multirole aircraft.

Given the UAV’s size, its internal bay or bays should be able to carry most, if not all, of the latest generation missiles and munitions being developed for the Su-57 aircraft, likely including the hypersonic missile that is in development.

A TASS report In July 2018 quoted an unnamed defense industry source as saying the Okhotnik was to make its maiden flight later that year. The same report highlighted that the UAV made heavy use of composite materials and was treated with a radiation-absorbent (stealth) coating.