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Watch Russian Hunter Combat Drone Take Flight, Out for Reaper Blood

In the sky above today’s battlefields, the U.S. military is the undisputed leader when it comes to surveillance and combat drones. With over 10,000 such weapons platforms in existence, America could essentially wage an all-out war remotely if it had to.
Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik Hunter drone 7 photos
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Yet the country’s foes are not waiting for a strike to come. At the end of last week, the Russian military conducted the first test flight of the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik, a heavyweight drone capable of both surveillance and strikes.

Video of the Hunter platform (English for Okhotnik) taking to the sky was just published by the Russians on Wednesday.

As you would expect, most of the details about the drone are secret, as is the location where the test flight took place. Several details are however known.

The aircraft has a wingspan of 20 meters (65 ft) and an empty weight of 20 tons (44,000 lbs.). It is said to be powered by a Saturn turbofan engine with an afterburner that can develop between 28,000 and 33,000 lbf of thrust.

That essentially means it is bigger, heavier, and more potent than the American General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B).

With a design that is similar to the American F-117 stealth fighter, the Hunter can reach a maximum speed of 1,400 kph (870 mph, supersonic speed) and has an operating range of 5,000 km (3,106 miles). 

It is unclear what types of weapons can be fitted on it, and the Russians say it will primarily be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance

Last week’s test flight was officially the drone’s first, although there are reports another flight was conducted on May 25. 

and saw it stay in the air for about 20 minutes, at an altitude of 600 meters (1,970 feet). It then came back to the airfield, landing safely.

The development program from the drone will continue, but it is not known what the next steps are or when the drone will become operational.


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