Russia's Defense Ministry has released rare footage showing its futuristic and newest heavy drone Okhotnik (or ‘Hunter’) conducting its first ever tactical aerial movements next to a fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet.
The footage was part of a 30-minute flight test, and comes after its maiden brief take-off and landing test in early August, when it was unveiled to the world as a stealth heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) being developed by Sukhoi as a sixth-generation aircraft.
The Russian military claims it possesses “special material and coating” in order to avoid radar detection. The wedge-shaped drone is considered among Russia's most advanced aircraft to date, and looks like something straight out of Star Wars.
Russian media has further described the Okhotnik as capable of traveling up to 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), despite it's significant weight of about 20 tons.
"Okhotnik has a flying-wing body type, which makes it looks like something from a sci-fi movie," one Russian media report noted.
The next generation Su-57s, one of which was filmed flying just meters apart from the still in testing phase 'Hunter' drone, are set to be active by the end of the year.
Much less is known about the experimental drone, however. First photos of the advanced stealth drone initially surfaced in January 2019, and were published by the aircraft analysis site The Aviationist.
Earlier this year the secretive aircraft was first spotted by land-based cameras at an airfield in Novosibirsk in southern Russia, and then picked up by commercial satellite imagery in May at the Chkalov State Flight-Test Center.
The Aviationist previously described the secretive UAV as possessing "low-observable capabilities, providing it with the ability to penetrate heavily defended airspaces without detection to conduct covert precision strikes."