Russia continues to improve the first domestic heavy attack drone "Okhotnik". The tests being carried out allow the developer not only to clarify (confirm) the technical characteristics of the UAV, but also to obtain comprehensive information on the options for using this drone as part of the RF Aerospace Forces.
One of the directions for the future use of the Okhotnik UAV, as noted, is associated with the breakthrough of the enemy's air defense system. Moreover, an attack drone can use several types of weapons: air-to-surface missiles to destroy air defense systems on the ground, air-to-air missiles to destroy air targets - aircraft that can be sent to intercept.
At the same time, the statements that the attack drone itself can be used as an interceptor - in the presence of air-to-air missiles - cause some skepticism among experts. It is associated with the drone control functionality. If at the moment (during testing) it is controlled from the ground by an operator and if this option remains the basis for some time after the Hunter is put into service, then the probability of success in air combat against a manned fighter will be low. After all, the pilot in the cockpit of the fighter and the operator in front of the monitor, by definition, have different volumes of data on the operational situation in the air in case an optimal decision is made.
It will be another matter if the "Hunter" in the end turns out to be completely robotic. But in this case, too, there are still hypothetical problems. They are connected with the robotization system itself. If this is partial robotization, for example, in choosing the optimal flight route, then there is also little chance as an interceptor in front of a manned fighter. If this is a complete robotization with artificial intelligence, then the question is different. The fact is that so far none of the world's leading companies in the creation of AI systems guarantees that in the near future artificial intelligence in military equipment will unambiguously surpass a person (for example, a pilot of a combat aircraft) and will be able, after rationally assessing the situation, to strike at the right time for the desired goal. The reason lies in the still technical limitations of AI systems. What's great on the chessboard can be a losing proposition in real air combat. At least for the time being and for the near future.
Therefore, at this stage, it should be noted that for the functions of an interceptor, the strike UAV "Hunter" requires advanced hardware and software for it, so that the robotization of the drone itself does not become a formality. But in order to put this advanced hardware with suitable software on shock drones, we need our own production. It is definitely impossible to rely on manufacturers in Europe or Southeast Asia in this regard, no matter how trite it may sound.