MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Deliveries of Russia’s latest heavy Okhotnik drone to the Russian troops are scheduled to begin in 2024, said Andrey Yelchaninov, the first deputy chairman of the Board of the Russian Military-Industrial Commission.
"Okhotnik deliveries to the troops are planned to begin as early as in 2024," he said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published on Tuesday.
The official reiterated that these drones can operate under control of a fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet pilot.
"These planes and drones can interact not only with each other, but also in various types of combat formations," Yelchaninov said. "Within a very short timeframe, there will be a possibility to control several Okhotnik drones from the Su-57 cockpit."
Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces Lt. Gen. Sergei Dronov said last year that during the development of UAVs, special attention is paid to integrating them into a single system with manned aircraft.
Russia’s Okhotnik heavy attack drone developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau performed its debut flight on August 3, 2019. The flight lasted over 20 minutes under an operator’s control. On September 27, 2019, the Okhotnik performed a flight together with a Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. The drone maneuvered in the air in the automated mode at an altitude of around 1,600 meters and its flight lasted over 30 minutes.
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 the data of Russia’s Defense Ministry, the drone has anti-radar coating and is outfitted with equipment for electro-optical, radar and other types of reconnaissance.