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Yakovlev Yak-25 (Flashlight / Mandrake)

Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Fighter Aircraft

The Yakovlev Yak-25 served mainly in the reconnaissance role over the vast Soviet Frontier.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 3/18/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1955
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Yakovlev - USSR
Production: 480
Capabilities: Fighter;
Crew: 2
Length: 51.41 ft (15.67 m)
Width: 36.09 ft (11 m)
Height: 14.17 ft (4.32 m)
Weight (Empty): 16,094 lb (7,300 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 21,826 lb (9,900 kg)
Power: 2 x Tumansky RD-9 turbojet engines developing 5,798 lb of thrust each.
Speed: 631 mph (1,015 kph; 548 kts)
Ceiling: 45,932 feet (14,000 m; 8.7 miles)
Range: 1,243 miles (2,000 km; 1,080 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 9,800 ft/min (2,987 m/min)
Operators: Soviet Union
The Yak-25 (NATO codename of "Flashlight") was yet another jet fighter design introduced by the Soviets during the early decades of the Cold War. The system was designed to patrol the vast northern-most portions of the Soviet territories from NATO and American high-level reconnaissance aircraft. Not built as a direct dogfighter (the system was limited to a 2 x 37mm cannon configuration), it served more as a mobile watchtower, complete with impressive endurance. The system would go on to be seen in fighter, reconnaissance and high-level reconnaissance platforms i its production span.

The name of the game with the Yak-25 was loiter time and the chance to utilize the powerful nose-mounted Sokol radar. That radar system itself was a large assembled piece of technology, so much so that the nose cone identifiably appeared elongated and enlarged. Engines were mounted underneath the midwing monoplane design and swept back at 45 degrees. A single vertical stabilizer element was fitted at rear and held the two smaller elevator components. The twin cannon array rested underneath and forward on the fuselage.

The Yak-25 Flashlight was crewed by two personnel and would become the Soviet Union's first radar-equipped jet fighter with all-weather capability. Service for the production line of the Yak-25 would go until 1964, when the entire line would be removed from service supplanted by a new generation of jet-powered designs. The Yak-25 spawned a high-altitude dedicated reconnaissance platform in the form of the Yah-25RV "Mandrake" and another reconnaissance variant in the form of the Yak-26 "Mangrove".


2 x 37mm internal automatic cannons.

50 x 50mm air-to-air rockets.

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets

Variants / Models

• Yak-25 - Model Series Designation; prototypes fitted with Mikulin AM-5 engines; production models witted with more powerful Am-5F engines with reheat capability.
• Yak-25 "Flashlight-A" - Initial Production Model Series Designation.
• MiG-25R "Flashlight-B" - Reconnaissance Variant; radome fitted under nose assembly.
• Yak-27 - "Flashlight-C" - Fitted with afterburn-capable VK-9 engines; lengthened nacelles; redesigned nose radome (pointed).
• Yak-26 "Mangrove" - Reconnaissance Aircraft Variant based on the Yak-27; glazed nose assembly.
• Yak-25RV "Mandrake" - Dedicated High-Altitude Reconnaissance Variant.
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