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  • Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar) Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft

    The Yakovlev Yak-28 proved a useful multirole performer for the Soviet Union during the Cold War years, seeing service as a bomber, interceptor and specialist platform.

     Updated: 6/18/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Post-World War 2 swept-wing research - coupled with advanced in turbojet technology - allowed the Soviet Union to field many capable aircraft types during the Cold War decades. One, often overlooked, multi-role performer became the Yakovlev Yak-28 which began operational service as a high-speed, medium tactical bomber. The line eventually evolved to cover a wide variety of Soviet military aviation requirements including trainer, interceptor, fast reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Aircraft (EWA) / Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) platforms. Due to the multiple guises presented, NATO provided three distinct codenames for each of the major variants - "Brewer" (A, B, and C marks for the tactical bomber forms), "Maestro" (for the two-seat trainer) and "Firebar" (interceptor form). The reconnaissance variants fell under the Brewer-D marker and EWA/ECM versions retained the original Brewer name as Brewer-E.

    The Yakovlev concern began formal operations in 1934, just prior to World War 2, and produced several well-known military aircraft in its time including the wartime Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-3 and Yak-9 piston-engined fighters. It also developed the Yak-38 "Forger" Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) fighter for the Soviet Navy.


    First flight of a Yak-28 prototype - known under the model designation of "Yak-129") - occurred on Match 5th, 1958 and, upon passing the requisite trials, the aircraft was adopted into the inventory of the Soviet Air Force beginning in 1960. Eventual use spanned into general Soviet air defense branches and service in the post-Cold War/post-Soviet Empire service with a new emerging Russia, independent Ukraine and independent Turkmenistan. Production yielded 1,180 examples and initial delivered examples were the tactical bomber types, though in limited numbers and lacking any radar facilities.

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    Yakovlev Yak-28P (Firebar) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1960
    Type: Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Yakovlev - Soviet Union
    Production Total: 1,180

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 70.87 feet (21.6 meters)
    Width: 41.01 feet (12.50 meters)
    Height: 12.96 feet (3.95 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 21,980 lb (9,970 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 33,069 lb (15,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Tumansky R-11 turbojet engines delivering 10,140lbs dry thrust each with 13,670lbs thrust each with afterburner.

    Maximum Speed: 1,143 mph (1,840 kph; 994 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,553 miles (2,500 km)
    Service Ceiling: 54,954 feet (16,750 meters; 10.41 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x R-98M (AA-2 "Atoll") medium-ranged air-to-air missiles (IR or Semi-Active Radar Homing).
    2 x K-13A (AA-3 "Anab") short-ranged air-to-air missiles.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Russia; Soviet Union; Ukraine; Turkmenistan

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    "Brewer-A" - Two-Seat Tactical Strike Model; glazed nose section.

    "Brewer-B" - Minor Modifications from Brewer-A base model; glazed nose section.

    Yak-28B "Brewer-C" - Minor Modifications from Brewer-A base model; glazed nose section; new improved bombsight.

    Yak-28L - Fitted with Lotos radar system.

    Yak-28I - Fitted with Initiativa radar system.

    Yak-28BI - Upgraded Yak-28B models fitted with Initiativa radar system.

    Yak-28RR - Modified Yak-28L models for radioactive monitoring.

    Yak-28R "Brewer-D" - Dedicated Reconnaissance Variant

    Yak-28PP "Brewer-E" - Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) Variant; modified from the Brewer-C model.

    Yak-28P "Firebar" - Two-Seat Long-Range All-Weather Fighter; increased fuel capacity; fitted with Oriol-D radar system.

    Yak-28U "Maestro" - Trainer Variant