NOVOSIBIRSK, August 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry expects the work on the latest Okhotnik heavy strike drone to be completed by 2022, and the opportunity to sign a large-scale contract for the delivery of the drone to Russian troops, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.
"We hope that the work will be completed by 2022 and we will be able to sign a large long-term contract for these drones, as is now the practice in the armed forces. This is needed so that the industry is aware of how to build plans for the next ten years and order materials and other components," the defense chief said at a meeting at the Novosibirsk-based Chkalov Aircraft Enterprise.
The Okhotnik heavy strike drone that the Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant is developing is a major project in this field. Life-cycle contracts that cover the time from the drone’s creation to its disposal are becoming increasingly important in this work, the defense minister noted.
"Importantly, together with the UAC [United Aircraft Corporation], we have reached the level of 82% for life-cycle contracts, which has never taken place before and is extremely important for the armed forces. We need to move further in this direction," Shoigu said.
For several years now, the Russian Defense Ministry has been engaged in developing, introducing, mastering and checking smart hardware that uses the latest achievements in artificial intelligence, the defense chief said.
"We have proven this in Syria. This has been proven reliably and substantially. It is no accident that a large group of engineers and designers from the UAC and the Sukhoi Company and, in particular, from the Novosibirsk Aircraft Enterprise are located in Syria. Representatives of defense enterprises and design bureaus are present there to finalize, inspect and develop new systems and their new capabilities,’ Shoigu said.