The Russian UCAV S-70: The next opponent of the Rafale
The Russian UCAV S-70: The next opponent of the Rafale

| YGB | Source : Air&Cosmos 650 mots

The Russian UCAV S-70: The next opponent of the Rafale

While Europeans are arguing over the SCAF program, Russia, which already has a strategic advantage thanks to its hypersonic weapons, is seeking to widen the gap with its stealth fighter UAV program.

New prototypes


The Russian Ministry of Defense has reportedly ordered three new prototypes of the UCAV S-70 Okhotnik, which will serve as a wing drone for the fifth-generation fighter, the SU-57, but can also be operated from the ground. The NAPO plant in Novosibirsk, known for the production of the front-line Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, would be in charge of their production. The tests could start in 2022 and continue until 2023.



At MAKS 2019 Sukhoi exhibited a model of the S-70 with an engine buried in the structure and a sawtooth nozzle outlet comparable to the B-2 Spirit (YGB).jpg ©



The second prototype would incorporate modifications to its design to make it even more stealthy (buried engine and sawtooth nozzle exit like the American B-2 Spirit and Chinese H-20 stealth bombers), its flight controls, as well as its sensors associated with its AI (reconnaissance, designation, communication) to enable it to evolve, escape missile launches, and strike its targets autonomously. These changes are based on the lessons learned from tests of the first prototype, which began in the summer of 2019. After validation of these modifications, the third and fourth prototypes would have a configuration similar to that of the production models and would be designed to test weapon systems and man/machine collaborative combat (MUM/T) systems. However, the first prototype would continue testing. Last December, the RIA Novosti agency quoting a military source had evoked bombing tests on the test range of Ashuluk near the Caspian Sea, using a 500 kg FAB-500 M-62 bomb. Bombings on targets whose coordinates would be known in advance. Since August 2020, the Ashuluk site has deployed several anti-UAV systems designed to simulate highly contested airspaces (S-400, Pantsir S1, offensive jamming ...).


S-70 KRET.jpg
Lors du salon MAKS 2015 le groupe KRET présenta ses solutions de capteurs pour doter le futur UCAV russe à partir des travaux menés sur le Su-35 et le Su-57 (YGB).jpg ©
S-70 KRET.jpg



Last summer, the OAK consortium saw its delivery schedule advanced by 12 months by the Kremlin to accelerate the aircraft's production and deployment from 2024. The 20-ton UAV designed by Sukhoi from 2011, with a wingspan equivalent to that of a Mig-29, has been specified to carry six metric tons of weapons in two separate bunkers more than 4,000 kilometers away. These armaments would be common to those of the Su-57, including the famous miniaturized version of the hypersonic missile KH-47M2 Khinjal. In accordance with the speech by Defense Minister S. Shoigu on January 29, the Okhotnik will participate in the accelerated modernization of the Russian air fleet to enable it to penetrate NATO's air defenses. The S-70s could thus integrate 2 to 3 squadrons of Su-57s to extend their radar detection range. But the role of the S-70 could also evolve towards that of an interceptor in order to neutralize not only opposing combat aircraft but also reconnaissance platforms, command aircraft, or tankers, thus justifying the integration of short- and medium-range missiles (R73/74, R77). Indeed, since the beginning of the program, the electronics group KRET has been seeking to capitalize on the UCAV the avionics solutions developed on the Su-35, the electronic warfare solutions using DRFM technology, and part of the radar system developed for the Su-57. At MAKS 2015, KRET presented a model of UCAV integrating a radar equipped with a front edge antenna in X-band, as well as several others in L-band spread over the whole aircraft, and intended to detect stealth platforms and AEW aircraft. All antennas are equipped with active modules. In addition, the IRST 101 KS-V of the Su-57, developed by the optronics company UOMZ, would allow the drone to approach and designate its target discreetly with a passive sensor. Advances in stealth and IRST techniques are preparing for the return of dogfighting. As several AFRL laboratory simulations have shown, the use of AI by UCAVs makes it possible to automate the analysis of adverse vulnerabilities, the sequence of maneuvers and combat tactics at a pace that no pilot can sustain during a confrontation. In short, the Okhotnik could increase the strike capabilities of the Russian air force tenfold, in addition to the 76 Su-57 expected in 2027, and above all initiate a much more offensive posture.


S-70 blue.jpg
The S-70 has a larger wingspan than the Dassault Rafale and similar to that of the Mig-29 (DR).jpg ©
S-70 blue.jpg
La configuration définitive probable du S-70.png
The probable final configuration of the S-70 (DR).jpg ©
La configuration définitive probable du S-70.png

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Answer to () :

Simon | 24/02/2021 15:38

It is the best ever in Russia and will make NATO learn how to make better decisions when creating sunctions to the poor Nations

Handsome Phiri | 24/02/2021 16:25

Nice machine

Kamwi | 24/02/2021 18:12

This is great for Russia, I support you, from Republic of Namibia

Leon fourie | 24/02/2021 20:47

I agree that its time for US to have some reall opposition

Modem | 25/02/2021 06:12

But it seems Russia and China happen focus too much on stealing American technology.When one looks at the models of their sixth generation planes,you are most likely to back me up.

Modem | 25/02/2021 06:21

It seems that these,that is,Russia and China, capitalize so much on US' inability to fully protect its technology to advance its own.

De nuts | 25/02/2021 11:53

Come on guys we know who idea was first , of course USA! And of course were on course to achieve above what you’re seeing here..

Billy tomlinson | 25/02/2021 12:21

What is the British doing about building our own or buying 5th generation fighter/bomber and also new hypersonic rockets that are capable off mach 2 i hope im right lol

George Akimenko | 25/02/2021 18:19

B-2 Bomber is not American design. Horten brothers (germans) started their stealth project during world war 2

Benoît Collas | 24/10/2021 18:12

Bonjour, le B2 c est Northrop, pas Horten.

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