skip to main content

Russian Okhotnik UCAV conducts first PGM launches

Seen during earlier trials, the Okhotnik recently conducted its first precision-guided missile launches during tests. (Russian MoD)

Russia's Sukhoi S-70B Okhotnik (Hunter) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has conducted its first test launch of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) against ground targets, state media reported on 28 May.

Citing an unnamed source, RIA Novosti said that air-to-surface missiles developed for the manned Sukhoi Su-57 (NATO reporting name β€˜Felonβ€˜) fifth-generation combat aircraft were fired by the S-70B during the trial.

Although not identified in the report, it is likely that the missile was the Kh-59MK2 standoff cruise missile, which is a development of the Kh-59-series heavy tactical missile that entered service in the early 1980s.

Although advertised to have a maximum range of 250 km, the model variant of the missile developed for the Russian military is thought to have a substantially longer range that is closer to 500 km. The 4.2 m-long missile is of stealth design and has folding wings and fins to enable it to be carried inside an internal weapons bay. The Kh-59MK2 is guided by an inertial navigation system corrected by Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation systems during the cruise phase, and an electro-optical digital scene matching area correlator system in the terminal phase. The missile is reported to have a circular error probable of 3–5 m.

In December 2020 RIA Novosti said that Okhotnik conducted tests with simulation air-to-air missiles fitted with both infrared (IR) and radar seekers, but without rocket engines and warheads, to test the UCAV's fire-control systems. The testing was conducted at the 185th Combat Application and Training Centre of the Russian Aerospace Forces, more commonly known as the Ashuluk training range.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...