A stealthy unmanned strike aircraft that appeared to be a new Russian Okhotnik (Hunter) unmanned air combat vehicle has been spotted in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.
At the facility of the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) plant were spotted Russian advanced strike aircraft. A new, stealthy unmanned strike aircraft now undergoing runway testing at NAPO in Novosibirsk.
According to a local source, The Okhotnik’s successfully restrained ground run test operations marks a major milestone ahead of the first flight, which is expected in early 2019.
Russian state media stated that a contract on developing the stealthy unmanned strike aircraft Okhotnik weighing 20 tonnes was signed between Russia’s Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi Aircraft Company in 2011.
“The work on the heavy long-range unmanned aerial vehicle is at the concluding stage. In particular, work has been completed to create a prototype that will begin test flights this year,” the TASS reported.
“The work is being carried out at the Novosibirsk-based Chkalov Aviation Plant (part of the Sukhoi Aircraft Company),” the source added.
The new Russian Okhotnik stealthy unmanned strike aircraft has a “flying wing” shape, making it similar to the American RQ-170 stealth reconnaissance drone or Chinese Tian Ying.
According to Popular Mechanics, it is expected that Okhotnik will be made of composite materials and the exterior features an anti-radar coating. All of this work to make the Hunter invisible to radar means it will store precision-guided bombs and missiles internally, to avoid compromising its radar signal with weapons hanging off the belly and wings