Russia Releases First Ever Video of New Stealth Bomber Drone
Russia Releases First Ever Video of New Stealth Bomber Drone by Joseph Trevithick for Check Point Asia
Here’s what we can glean from it
Russia’s Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B, or Hunter-B, flying wing unmanned combat air vehicle, or UCAV, flew for the first time recently and now the country’s Ministry of Defense has released video of the flight. Images of the drone had first emerged on Russian social media in January.
The Russian Ministry of Defense officially announced the milestone last week,though it did not provide any imagery. The S-70 flew for more than 20 minutes, cruising at an altitude of around 1,970 feet on a route around an unspecified air base, according to the official statement at the time. This first flight was originally scheduled to occur sometime in the Spring, but was delayed for unknown reasons.
It is not immediately clear where or when this test occurred. As of May 2019, satellite imagery and official Russian government statements confirmed that at least one Okhotnik-B was at 929th Chkalov State Flight-Test Center in Russia’s southwestern Astrakhan region. However, a separate report from AINonline in June says that the first flight had occurred on May 25 at Sukhoi’s Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association‘s (NAPO) plant in the region of the same name.
The video the Russian Ministry of Defense has now released, seen below, shows the drone taxiing, taking off, flying around the base, and landing. The UCAV, which is roughly in the same general size class as Northrop Grumman’s X-47B, is now carrying a bort number, Red 071, as well as the new paint scheme that was previously visible in the satellite imagery from Chkalov. It remains unclear if this means this is a refined design, or even an additional prototype, that is separate from the one seen in the pictures that appeared in January.