HomeRussian Air PowerRussia flies armed, stealthy Okhotnik attack drone prototypes

Russia flies armed, stealthy Okhotnik attack drone prototypes

Source : Center For Military Modernization

Russia flies armed, stealthy Okhotnik attack drone prototypes
Russian Okhotnik attack drone

Washington D.C.: The Russian military is flying two prototype stealthy “hunter” drones expected to become operational by 2024, a significant and potentially concerning development for the Pentagon.

Russia flies armed, stealthy Okhotnik attack drone prototypes

Okhotnik Drone

The Okhotnik is not only stealthy but reported to be an armed strike drone as well, according to numerous reports including one from as far back as 2018 in Russia Beyond quoting Russian experts discussing the drone.

“The Okhotnik’s arsenal includes air-to-surface missiles and an array of bombs (glide and operator-controlled) that will not be suspended from the wings, but hidden inside the body to reduce visibility on enemy radar,” Professor Vadim Kozyulin of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences told Russia Beyond.

As discussed in the Russia Beyond essay, the Okhotnik appears to present significant threats as it is reported to operate with an internal weapons bay, stealth coatings and a B-2-esque blended wing-body horizontal, stealthy configuration. The ability to keep weapons inside the aircraft without hanging them underneath on pylons, means the drone can attack while operating in stealth mode.

There may also be some small “hard points” on the drone to enable a beast-mode kind of heavier attack. The absence of protruding structures, shapes and sharp angles from underneath weapons means ground based air-defense radar will have much less to “bounce” its signal or “ping” off of to generate a rendering to ground sensors.

Real questions about the drone also may pertain to the level of technological sophistication when it comes to its additional stealth characteristics, meaning what kind of thermal management or heat-reduction does the drone have? How effective are the stealth coatings? Perhaps most of all, is there an internally buried engine which may ensure the air temperature surrounding the drone is roughly equivalent to the drone itself to essentially “blind” thermal sensors. How is the exhaust managed?

An equally pressing question introduced by the Russia Beyond essay is the development of AI-capabilities for the drone, something which would of course exponentially increase its ability to process sensor data, targeting information and the ability to network with both other unmanned and manned systems.

Russia’s TASS news agency has already written several stories about how their military is essentially “copying” the successful US Air Force networking of the F-35F-22 and Valkyrie drone with manned-unmanned teaming between the Okhotnik and Russia’s 5th-generation Su-57. This raises key questions about the extent to which Russia can accomplish a successful ability to replicate the US Air Force’s “loyal wingman” concept and operate a manned fighter jet in close coordination with an unmanned, stealthy drone.

This reduces latency, streamlines attack possibilities and potentially networks attack detail across much broader and more threatening formations. The operational functionality of the integrated AI-data analysis and the extent to which manned-unmanned teaming networks are “hardened” are also pressing questions when it comes to the extent of the threat posed by the Russian drone.

However, Russia has not yet produced many Su-57s and there may be some question as to whether it has the industrial capacity to build impactful numbers of the new drone. While of course even a small number would likely present a credible threat, Russia may not have an ability to “scale” the existence of this drone in a rapid fashion. Finally, while the US military is known to operate stealthy drones such as the Sentinel, there is no indication that the US operates an “armed” stealthy drone, a circumstance which might place the US at a deficit.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat


IAF successfully conducts night vision goggles-aided landing in Eastern sector

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has achieved a significant milestone by successfully landing an aircraft using night vision goggles (NVG) for the first time...

With Project-75I Submarine Acquisition Facing Delays, MDL Shifts Focus to Indigenous 3,000-ton Project-76 Submarine Design

Source : IgMp Bureau Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), India's premier shipyard, has announced its intention to develop an entirely indigenous conventional submarine design by...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

AMCA to be integrated with sophisticated indigenous Distributed Aperture System (DAS) that making it a formidable air asset for the Indian Air Force

Source : IgMp Bureau India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is on the brink of a revolutionary transformation with the integration of a sophisticated Distributed...

AMCA to incorporate the best features of both 5th and 6th Generation fighters: ADA sources

Source : IgMp Bureau India's strides toward indigenous air dominance receive a substantial boost with the green signal for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)...

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months


Brazil pitches for ‘Scorpene Club’ of nations as Macron visits India

Brazil is pitching for creation of joint production hubs in partnership with India to develop weapon systems that can be marketed in Latin America....

#EXCLUSIVE: Modi Govt Starts Work on Civilian Airport at Thoise Airbase Near LAC with China

Source : News 18 Ladakh: The Narendra Modi government has started work on building a new civilian terminal building at the Thoise airbase in the...

Chinese fighter jet intercepts US military aircraft over South China Sea, flew just 20 feet from US Air Force aircraft

Source : Asian News International (ANI)Footage of a Chinese pilot flies a jet just 10-feet away from a U.S. Airforce RC-135 plane on Dec....

French Airpower Touches Down in India: Atlantique 2 and A400M Join Sunrise Command Exercises

SOURCE: AFI The Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command, also known as the Sunrise Command, has warmly welcomed two French military aircraft to its base at...
error: Content is protected !!