Yakovlev Yak-44

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Role Carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control
Manufacturer Yakovlev
Status Cancelled before prototype construction

The Yakovlev Yak-44 (Russian: Як-44) was a proposed twin-turboprop Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, resembling the United States Navy's E-2 Hawkeye, intended for use with the Soviet Navy's Ulyanovsk class supercarriers. Along with the aircraft carrier it would have flown from, the Yak-44 was cancelled after the demise of the Soviet Union. A full-scale mockup with foldable wings was built.

Design and development[edit]

In the late 1970s, the Soviet Navy adopted a plan to build large aircraft carriers capable of operating conventional aircraft rather than the VSTOL Yakovlev Yak-38s operated by the existing Kiev class aircraft carriers. These new carriers required a shipborne airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft to be effective, and the Yakovlev design bureau was instructed to develop such an aircraft in 1979.[1][2] While the AEW would be the primary role for the aircraft, it was also planned to develop versions to serve in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and carrier on-board delivery (COD) roles.[2][3]

The basic layout and size of the final Yak-44E design was similar to that of the Grumman E-2C which operated in the same role from American aircraft carriers, being a twin-engined high-wing monoplane with a rotating radar dome (rotodome) above the aircraft's fuselage. The Yak-44 was designed to carry much more fuel, and was therefore far heavier.[2][3] The engines were to be two Progress D-27 propfans rated at 14,000 ehp (10,290 kW) each, driving contra-rotating propellers. The crew of five were to be accommodated in a pressurized fuselage, while the aircraft's rotodome, carrying a NPO Vega pulse-doppler radar could be retracted to reduce the aircraft's height when stowed below decks in the carrier's hangar. The aircraft's wings also folded upwards, while a twin tail was fitted.[2][4]

The aircraft was stressed to allow catapult launching and arrested landings, but was also capable of operating from the ski-jump ramps of the Project 1143.5 carriers (later to become known as the Admiral Kuznetsov class).[5]

A detailed full-size mockup was completed in 1991, and approved with minor changes by the Soviet Naval Aviation (A-VMF). The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in the program being delayed, with the catapult-equipped Ulyanovsk being cancelled and scrapped, and the second Admiral Kuznetsov class carrier, the Varyag, being left incomplete. The Yak-44 program was abandoned by the Russian Navy in 1993.[5][6][7]

Specifications (Yak-44E)[edit]

Data from Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 20.39 m (66 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 25.7 m (84 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 7 m (23 ft 0 in) [7]
  • Max takeoff weight: 40,000 kg (88,185 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Progress D-27 propfan, 10,290 kW (13,800 hp) each
  • Propellers: 14-bladed SPE Aerosila SV-27


  • Maximum speed: 740 km/h (460 mph, 400 kn)
  • Range: 4,000 km (2,500 mi, 2,200 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 13,000 m (43,000 ft)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 372.
  2. ^ a b c d Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 347.
  3. ^ a b Gunston and Gordon 1997, p. 201.
  4. ^ Gunston and Gordon 1997, pp. 201–202.
  5. ^ a b Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 348.
  6. ^ a b Gunston and Gordon 1997, p. 202.
  7. ^ a b Taylor 1996, pp. 180–181.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Gordon, Yefim, Dmitry Komissarov and Sergey Komissarov. OKB Yakovlev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-203-9.
  • Gunston, Bill and Yefim Gordon. Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924. London, UK: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1997. ISBN 1-55750-978-6.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World's Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/97. London: Brassey's, 1996. ISBN 1-57488-063-2.

External links[edit]