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Yakovlev Yak-44

Carrier-based Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Aircraft

Yakovlev Yak-44

Carrier-based Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Aircraft


Only a full-sized mockup of the Yakovlev Yak-44 was ever produced, the fall of the Soviet Empire derailing all further development.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1991
MANUFACTURER(S): Yakovlev - Soviet Union / Russia
OPERATORS: Soviet Union (cancelled)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Yakovlev Yak-44E model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 66.93 feet (20.4 meters)
WIDTH: 85.30 feet (26 meters)
HEIGHT: 22.97 feet (7 meters)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 88,185 pounds (40,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Zaporozhye D-227 propfan engines developing 14,000 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 460 miles-per-hour (740 kilometers-per-hour; 400 knots)
RANGE: 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers; 2,160 nautical miles)
CEILING: 42,651 feet (13,000 meters; 8.08 miles)

None. Mission-related equipment to be carried.

Series Model Variants
• Yak-44 - Base Series Designation
• Yak-44E - Known variant designation


Detailing the development and operational history of the Yakovlev Yak-44 Carrier-based Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
During the latter half of the Cold War (1947 - 1991) years, the Soviet Union's naval branch positioned itself to field an all-new nuclear-powered fleet of "supercarriers" (led by the Ulyanovsk) to match the sea-based firepower of American and Western foes. Up to this point, the Soviet Navy was only capable of fielding Yakovlev Yak-38 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) strike fighters from its limited Kiev-class fleet. To help stock the incoming supercarrier line, Yakovlev was charged with design and development of a capable, carrier-based Airborne Early Warning (AEW) platform during the late 1970s and this led to the Yak-44 proposal. However, the Soviet supercarrier initiative fell to naught with the fall of the Soviet Empire and the Yak-44 only ever existed in a ful-sized mock-up. The program was cancelled along with the supercarriers and no prototypes existed.

The Ulyanovsk and its kind were set to support some 68 total aircraft, a mix of Sukhoi and Mikoyan fighters, Yak-44 AEW platforms, sub-hunting and Search and Rescue (SAR) Kamov helicopters. The flight deck would have been designed in a rather Western way with four catapult launch positions - two over the bow and two along portside - with an angled receiving deck running from stern to portside. The island superstructure would be offset to the starboard side with three hangar elevators servicing the flight deck.

These qualities fleshed out the requirements to Yakovlev for their new AEW platform. The resulting design held a stark similarity to the competing American Grumman E-2 "Hawkeye" series with little left to the imagination. The design included a length of 66.9 feet, a wingspan of 84 feet and a height of 23 feet. Wings were foldable for improved carrier storage below decks. A large, retractable radome (the NPO "Vega" pulse Doppler) was fitted over the fuselage as in the E-2. The typical operation crew was expected to number five including two pilots and mission specialists. Loaded weight was reported at 88,200lbs. Power was to be served through 2 x Zaporozhye D-227 series "propfans" developing 14,000 horsepower each - combining a gas turbine with an unshielded, twisted-blade propeller assembly. Wings were shoulder mounted to provide the proper clearance for the propeller blades and the undercarriage was of a tricycle arrangement, fully retractable. As in the E-2, the Yak-44 would have sported a twin-tail arrangement. As expected with any naval aircraft, the Yak-44 was to be properly coated and sealed to prevent corrosion on the seas. Additionally, its structure and undercarriage members were reinforced for carrier deck landings.

Performance specifications from the two engines was expected to include a maximum speed of 460 miles per hour, a range of 2,500 miles and a service ceiling of 42,700 feet. All were estimates, however, as no prototype was ever completed.

Work continued throughout the 1980s to which the Soviets were engaged in a costly and bloody war across Afghanistan. This, and other internal matters, eventually led to the fall of the Soviet Empire and many programs fell to extreme budget cuts. Yakovlev managed the aforementioned full-sized mockup but little else before the project was done in. The Yak-44 was given up for good sometime in 1993 as the Russian Navy entered into a period of depression and limited funding.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (460mph).

Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Yakovlev Yak-44E's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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