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Okhotnik “hunter” combined with Su-57 . fighter

An image of the Okhotnik (Hunter) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) developed by Russia’s Sukhoi corporation appeared on this country’s social network on January 23, 2019, seemingly taken during a test session at the airport. Novosibirsk aircraft factory.


Su-57 fighter with the symbol “two side-by-side” on the tail wing. Photo: Russian Planes.

Just a few days earlier, the stealthy Su-57 fighter with the number 053 also appeared with a special camouflage paint, showing the shape of the Okhotnik. The vertical tail section is painted with the symbol of Su-57 and Okhotnik flying in parallel, in the middle is a flash of lightning. This may be a sign of the Russian Air Force’s ambition to develop a pair of stealth fighters to fight together.

“Lightning is often a symbol of electronic connectivity and data sharing. Several devices have also appeared on the 053, suggesting it can be used to connect to Okhotnik or relay information to others. This will turn the Su-57 and Okhotnik into a stealthy pair of Russian fighter jets in the future, “said military expert Tyler Rogoway..

The Su-57 also seems to serve as a testing ground for technologies that can be applied to the Okhotnik, increasing compatibility between the two aircraft.


The underside of the Su-57 is painted in the shape of Okhotnik. Photo: Russian Planes.

“Developing a UCAV capable of interoperating with manned aircraft, in which Okhotnik plays the role of ‘loyal companion’ of the Su-57, makes a lot of sense. The US Air Force is also working on a model. this with the F-35 super fighter and B-21 bomber,” Rogoway added.

Experts believe that Okhotnik will help Russia solve many of the weaknesses in the design of the Su-57, creating a pair of powerful fighters far beyond the combat capabilities of two separate aircraft.

This UCAV can operate independently, play the role of “eyes and eyes on the battlefield” or connect with Su-57 fighters in precision attack, reconnaissance or electronic warfare missions. The Okhotnik will also be deployed to destroy enemy air defenses, command posts and communications in the early stages of a conflict, paving the way for manned fighter jets to enter combat.

Experts say that the Russian Ministry of Defense seems to intentionally reveal Okhotnik images on social networks to show off the power of this UCAV before its test flight this year. China did the same thing when it revealed the J-20 stealth fighter in 2011.

“This is proof that Russia is determined to develop stealth UCAV. China, India and many European countries are also following this path, while the US pretends to have mixed combat technology between fighters and UCAV does not exist, although it has long demonstrated potential,” commented analyst Joseph Trevithick.


The Okhotnik was towed on the Novosibirsk factory taxiway. Photo: VK.

The Su-57 and Okhotnik duo also help realize the concept of central cyber warfare, in which the Su-57s will become the command centers for infantry, air defense and other aircraft squadrons.

“If the Sukhoi corporation keeps on schedule, we may not have to wait long to see Russia’s progress in the field of stealth UCAVs, in order to make the dream of combining fighters with unmanned aerial vehicles a reality. “, said expert Trevithick.

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