first published on January 24, 2019 by Will
Images of Russia’s new Okhotnik “Hunter” heavy attack stealth drone have surfaced on a Russian aviation themed social media account.
At first glance the drone resembles the classic US B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, and the flat wing design indicates that the unmanned aircraft will likely rely heavily on its stealth technologies rather than maneuverability for dogfighting.
Russia claims the drone is capable of totally autonomy, but has said that a human gunner will be responsible for firing its munitions.
An analysis in Business Insider has said Russia’s Su-57 5th Generation fighter has been seen stenciled with graphic overlays showing an aircraft similar in shape to the Hunter. They hypothesize that it means that these drones will likely be feeding target information to the fighter jets in a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) role.
Additionally the analysis suggests the drone may be giving us clues of the stealth technology that will be used to create Russia’s next fighter jet. Although Russia initially claimed that the Su-57 is a F-22/F-35 killer, they have just recently announced that the Su-57 will not be seeing mass production, indicating that it didn’t turn out as well as they had hoped.
RuAF Su-57 '053' new colour scheme + Okhotnik UCAV silhouette
— @Rupprecht_A (@RupprechtDeino) January 18, 2019