Monday, March 16, 2015

Yak-28P Firebar

An obvious offspring of the Yak-25/-27 breed, the Yak-28 vast family introduced in 1958 had a completely new design. The "P" is the all-weather interceptor fighter version, of which there were 443 produced in 1962-67 at Novosibirsk plant. Intended for low- and medium- altitude operations, it was equipped with an "Orel-D" radar in the radome and capable of carrying 800 kg of rockets on 4 hardpoints. Another notable feature is its twin wheel gear. The remotorized "PM" modification has established a speed record of 2400 km/h in 1963.

Yak-28P (Izdeliye 40) (NATO reporting name - "Firebar")
    A dedicated long-range interceptor version, the Yak-28P was developed from 1960 and deployed operationally from 1964. It omitted the internal weapons bay in favor of additional fuselage tanks (its fuel capacity was considerable, limited by weight rather than volume), and added a new 'Oriol-D' interception radar compatible with the R-98 (AA-3 'Anab') air-to-air missile. Late production "upgraded" Yak-28Ps had a longer radome of pure conical shape and enhanced armament. Produced until 1967, with 435 built.

Yak-28PM prototype
    Upgraded Yak-28P with R11AF3-300 engines, flight testing started in 1963 but development abandoned when the R11AF3-300 did not enter production. The remotorized "PM" modification has established a speed record of 2400 km/h in 1963.
Yak-28URP prototype
    Rocket boosted high altitude interceptor prototype.
Yak-28-64 prototype
    Extensively re-designed Yak-28P with Tumansky R-11F2-300 engines moved to the rear fuselage with intakes extending to the cockpit, intended to compete with the Sukhoi Su-15. Performance was very disappointing, being slower than the Yak-28P, and serious aileron reversal issues caused the abandonment of the Yak-28-64.

Total production of all Yak-28s was 1,180. The Yak-28P was withdrawn in the early 1980s, but trainer and other versions soldiered on until after the fall of the Soviet Union, flying until at least 1992. The recce and ECM aircraft were eventually replaced by variants of the Sukhoi Su-24.

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