Russia’s Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik flying wing unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has made its first test flight.
The flight took place on 3 August, according to state-owned news agency TASS. The location of the initial liftoff was not disclosed by the Russian ministry of defence, who on 7 August published video online of the event.
The first flight of the Okhotnik, or “Hunter”, UAV lasted more than 20min. The aircraft made several flights over an airfield at an altitude of about 2000ft, after which it successfully landed, says the ministry. The video released online shows a grey camouflage aircraft taxing on a tarmac, taking off, making several banked turns with its landing gear extended, before touching down on the runway again.
Video of the S-70's first flight
Russian defence ministry
The S-70 UAV uses “special materials and coatings that make it practically invisible to radar detection equipment,” says the Russian foreign ministry.
The aircraft looks similar in shape to flying wing UAVs developed by Western militaries, including the Dassault Neuron, BAE Systems Taranis and Northrop Grumman X-47B. That flying wing shape should give it less radar cross section, though its aft exposed jet engine exhaust nozzle would likely negate some stealthy characteristics.
The aircraft is equipped with targeting equipment, optoelectronic sensors, radio hardware and other types of reconnaissance equipment, says the ministry. The S-70 is capable of a maximum speed of 540kt (1,000 km/h), according to TASS.