Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar)

Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft

Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar)

Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



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.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1960
MANUFACTURER(S): Yakovlev - Soviet Union
PRODUCTION: 1,180
OPERATORS: Russia; Soviet Union; Ukraine; Turkmenistan
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 70.87 feet (21.6 meters)
WIDTH: 41.01 feet (12.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.96 feet (3.95 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 21,980 pounds (9,970 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 33,069 pounds (15,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Tumansky R-11 turbojet engines delivering 10,140lbs dry thrust each with 13,670lbs thrust each with afterburner.
SPEED (MAX): 1,143 miles-per-hour (1840 kilometers-per-hour; 994 knots)
RANGE: 1,553 miles (2,500 kilometers; 1,350 nautical miles)
CEILING: 54,954 feet (16,750 meters; 10.41 miles)




ARMAMENT



Yak-28P:
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.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• "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


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar) Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 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.

Development

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.




Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar) (Cont'd)

Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft

Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar) (Cont'd)

Twin-Seat Multirole Aircraft



As was the case throughout the Cold War years, the Yak-28 was not known to Western observers until its public display at the 1961 Tushino Air Show. The West incorrectly identified the aircraft as a further evolution of the Yak-25 "Flashlight" interceptor/reconnaissance line and granted the same codename. Despite some physical similarities, the aircraft was later revealed to be an all-new design and granted the "Brewer" codename.

Yak-28 Walk-Around

The Yak-28's design continued the highly traditional, no-frills approach consistent with other Soviet turbojet-powered aircraft of the period. It was conventional in its layout, utilizing external engine nacelles slung under the swept-wing appendages. This assisted with general maintenance and replacement but added drag when compared to airframes who buried their powerplants within the fuselage. The wings were high-mounted monoplanes with good clearance for underwing stores across two hardpoints outboard of the engine nacelles. The fuselage was tubular in its general shape with a pointed nosecone assembly, framed canopy set ahead of midships and a swept tail unit with high-mounted horizontal planes. The planes were also swept in their appearance to promote maximum aerodynamic efficiency at the expected higher operating speeds. If there was one facet of the Yak-28 that was unconventional it was in its undercarriage which utilized a twin-wheeled nose leg and a twin-wheeled rear fuselage leg. Support for each wing during ground running was facilitated by single-wheeled stems near the wingtips. Overall, the undercarriage gave the aircraft a pronounced "nose-up" appearance with the fuselage sitting quit close to the ground.

Yak-28 Bomber Variants

The Yak-28 was born as a medium-class tactical bomber and initially delivered in the basic, limited production Yak-28-designated form. This was followed by the Yak-28B ("Brewer-A") bomber variant which added weapon-assisted radar functionality and support for Jet-Assisted Take-Off (JATO) pods, the latter for quick-reaction take-offs. Another tactical bomber form was the Yak-28L ("Brewer-B") which installed a ground-based targeting system, production of this model peaking at 111 examples. The Yak-28I ("Brewer-C") integrated an onboard ground mapping radar with targeting system for improved tactical value. Production of this mark totaled 223 units.

The Yak-28P Interceptor

The Yak-28P became the dedicated long-range, missile-armed interceptor which could be called upon, in relatively short order, to take on marauding Western bombers or spy planes. The type was born in 1960 and entered service as soon as 1964. These versions lacked the internal bomb bay of their tactical bomber brethren which allowed for more onboard fuel stores to be exercised. An interception radar was standard and fitted in the nose cone assembly while integrated with the aircraft's missile-only payload. Production resulted in 435 aircraft.

Yak-28P Interceptor Performance

The Yak-28P was powered by 2 x Tumansky R-11 series afterburning turbojet engines delivering 10,140lbs on dry thrust and 13,670lbs with afterburning engaged. Maximum speed was 1,140 miles per hour with a range out to 1,550 miles and a service ceiling of 55,000 feet. Armament was generally 2 x R-98M (AA-3 "Anab") medium-ranged, air-to-air missiles and 2 x K-13A (AA-2 "Atoll") short-ranged air-to-air missiles. The aircraft carried a mix of R-98M missiles, typically an infrared homing and a semi-active radar homing version. No internal cannon was fitted.

Yak-28U "Maestro" Two-Seat Trainer

The Yak-28U ("Maestro") was the standard Yak-28 trainer which incorporated a second cockpit for a student pilot in the nose cone assembly. This retained a commanding, elevated view for the instructor seated in the original (now rear) cockpit. The initial prototype went airborne in 1962 and production reached 183 units.

The Yak-28R "Brewer-D" Tactical Reconnaissance Mounts

Tactical reconnaissance sorties were managed by the Yak-28R ("Brewer-D") variant which featured a special, heavily glazed nose cone and additional reconnaissance equipment for the role. This model was based on the preceding Yak-28I tactical bomber airframe. A prototype appeared in 1963 and production eventually reached 183 examples. The Yak-28SR was another reconnaissance form of limited production outfitted with either the SPS-141 or SPS0143 series active radio/radar jamming suite. The Yak-28TARK was yet another reconnaissance platform which allowed for real-time image gathering and integration for a ground control receiver for subsequent interpretation. The Yak-28RR utilized specialized equipment pods to sample environments for fallout data as related to Soviet nuclear weapons testing and Yak-28RL aircraft were of similar scope and function.

The Yak-28PP in EWA Form

The Yak-28PP was an airframe conversion for the Electronic CounterMeasure (ECM) role, equipped with an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite in the internal bomb bay and special streamlined pods fitted outboard of the engine nacelles. These airframes were typically unarmed for the role, intended to solely jam enemy signals. In the EWA role, the Yak-28 was formally replaced by similarly-equipped Sukhoi Su-24 "Fencer" aircraft. The Su-24 also took over the high-speed reconnaissance role from retiring Yak-28s.

Yak-28 Experimental Projects

The Yak-28UVP became a testbed intended to experiment with Short Take-Off and landing (STOL) operations. The Yak-28SR was a one-off airframe testing chemical spraying - none entered formal service. The Yak-28VV was a prototype outfitted for Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) that was never ordered for service. The Yak-28LSh was another abandoned project intended to field a light attack platform engineered to a new Soviet Air Force requirement - it was not selected. The Yak-28PM was intended as a modernized interceptor form bringing about use of the R11AF3-300 series turbojet engine. Testing began in 1963 but was slowed by engine issues and, when engine development ended, so too did the Yak-28PM project. The Yak-28URP tested rocket-boost equipment for fast interception of high-altitude enemy aircraft. The Yak-28-64 was a one-off modified Yak-28P outfitted with Tumansky R-11F2-300 series turbojet engines, now buried in the rear fuselage in a side-by-side configuration (similar to the Mikoyan MiG-19). The engines were aspirated by side-mounted intakes along the outer cockpit walls. The type was being developed as a contender against the Sukhoi Su-15 project which eventually netted Sukhoi the contract as the Yakovlev product was shown to be outmatched by the competition.

Final Yak-28 Usage

The final Yak-28s were retired from the Russian Air Force in the early 1990s (final Russian examples known until 1992). The Russian Air Force naturally inherited its stock of Yak-28s from the collapsed aviation arm of the Soviet Union (1991). Similarly, the Ukraine took over possession of some 35 Yak-28s after the end of the Soviet Empire. Turkmenistan became the only notable operator of the aircraft line.




MEDIA









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 Rating
Hi: 1200mph
Lo: 600mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,143mph).

    Graph average of 900 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Yakovlev Yak-28P (Firebar)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1180
1180

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
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
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of a medium-range air-to-air missile
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.