- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Yak-141 is a rank VIII Soviet supersonic VTOL jet fighter with a battle rating of 12.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Sky Guardians". Carrying R-27ERs and boasting a radar range of 70 km, the Yak-141 is a terrifying opponent with fantastic avionics and sensors able to sling the best missiles of its BR at all ranges. Despite the slightly awkward appearance, this plane is a fearsome predator.
This jet is shockingly agile, particularly at very high speeds. In addition, being a VTOL jet, it is able to accelerate much more quickly than other aircraft. It is usually the first to the end of the runway, only initially outpaced by Harriers. It can bring enough fuel to afterburn to the middle of the largest of locations, strategically deploy its missiles, usually still afterburning, and return home with fuel to spare. It also has the ability to afterburn while thrust vectoring, which, combined with its manoeuvrability, powerful engines, and hovering potential, make it quite versatile at close ranges, able to outperform and elude the most nimble of conventional fighters. The only downside of this aircraft is its roll rate, which can impair its reactivity at close ranges.
|Characteristics|| Max speed
(km/h at 11,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 650||< 850||< 920||-|
|Engine name||Number||Basic mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Tumansky R79V-300 (main)||1||10,930 kg||483 kg/m2|
|Saturn RD-41 (lift jets)||2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Gross|
|Weight (each)||Type||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||35m fuel|
|1,750 kg (main)||Afterburning vectored-thrust low-bypass turbofan||12,250 kg||13,381 kg||14,606 kg||15,330 kg||17,362 kg|
|290 kg (lift jet)||Axial-flow turbojet|
|Maximum main engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB)||Thrust to weight ratio in forward flight @ 0 m (WEP / 100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||35m fuel||MGW|
|Stationary||11,179 kgf||15,582 kgf||1.27||1.16||1.07||1.02||0.90|
|Optimal|| 11,179 kgf
| 19,740 kgf
|Maximum lift engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB)||Thrust to weight ratio in VTOL (all 3 engines) @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Stationary||4,105 kgf||4,152 kgf||1.51||1.38||1.26||1.20||1.06|
Survivability and armour
Most hits from a missile are fatal, as with any top tier jet, but if used properly, the Yak-141 can dodge even very advanced missiles with its combination of speed and agility. Because of its powerful engine, this aircraft can still fly and manoeuvre effectively even with extensive fuselage damage.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)||Lead indicator|
The Yak-141 is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- 1 x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon, belly-mounted (120 rpg)
- 1 x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon + 60 x countermeasures
The Yak-141 can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:
- Without load
- 2 x R-60M missiles
- 4 x R-60M missiles
- 4 x R-27R missiles
- 2 x R-27ER missiles
- 4 x R-27T missiles
- 128 x S-5K rockets
- 80 x S-8KO rockets
- 4 x S-24B rockets
- 20 x S-13OF rockets
- 16 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs (1,600 kg total)
- 4 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 4 x 500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs (2,000 kg total)
- 4 x ZB-500 incendiary bombs
- 4 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannons (250 rpg = 1,000 total)
Custom loadout options
|23 mm GSh-23L cannons (250 rpg)||1||1||1||1|
|100 kg OFAB-100 bombs||4||4||4||4|
|250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs||1||1||1||1|
|500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs||1||1||1||1|
|ZB-500 incendiary bombs||1||1||1||1|
|Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 1,000 kg|
Usage in battles
The Yak-141 is a very versatile aircraft, competitive if not dominant in all kinds of combat. It is a monster in long range engagements, with an advanced radar and almost flawless SARH missiles, as long as an opponent does not notch your radar, their lifetime is measured in seconds. This jet also excels in close combat, its cannon and R-60s making short work of opponents. For the tough cases, you can transition into relying on your VTOL ability to bring the fight to your strengths, stall speed fighting.
As most initial engagements will begin at long range, it is recommended to bring two R-27ERs. These missiles are almost unilateral improvements on the R variants, with little sacrifice for a vast increase in range. Before enemies are spotted, switch the radar to HDN or head-on mode, so it searches slightly better for the hot aircraft you know are out there. It is also recommended to increase the scan azimuth of your radar so that you have a better chance of finding something. When contacts appear, you can filter out the AI planes based on distance and formation. They will be well ahead of the the first players, usually starting as one contact that slowly fragments. When other contacts come within range, it is recommended to use TWS or Track While Search mode to learn their placement in the sky and heading without alerting them of your attention. You can also use the "Switch selected target" function to check many different targets position and closing speed. Using this information, you can filter out targets based on closing speed and altitude. Contacts closing faster than about 700 m/s are probably missiles, while targets under about 450 m/s could easily notch your radar if they notice a lock. You also want to avoid targets that are hugging the ground as ground clutter can even fool pulse-Doppler radars when tracking a target less than 50 m from the surface. As for distance, while you can technically hit a target over 40 km from you, most pilots will begin notching when they see your missile approaching, if not as soon as the lock tone sounds. Therefore, it is advised to target hostiles under the 10 km range who will not have much time to react to your lock or missile.
In head-ons, it is recommended to use your radar missiles, as they are essentially undodgeable if fired from more than about 4 km. However, it takes time to lock and launch, so sometimes it is better to sling an R-60 and hope for the best. While they are usually flared off the intended target, an R-60 can frequently parry an incoming missile, locking onto and destroying it instead. It is generally unwise to engage in a head-on that is too short range to use an R-27, as neither R-60s nor your single cannon is very effective. In most cases any damage in a close head on like this will be done to you, unless you are carrying gunpods. As with any other aircraft of this tier, it is ill-advised to enter a pitched, focused turnfight unless you are absolutely sure that no enemies are around, otherwise you will be a slow helpless target for a hungry missile. That said, the Yak-141 is a very dangerous opponent in a dogfight. It possesses the ability to vector its thrust and so turn in a way that belies your lumbering appearance. Your surprising turning ability can give you enough time, even when losing, to bleed their speed and force them to fight in a way that favors you. After a couple of turns, your speed will be low enough to engage your thrust vectoring. Lower your aft engine to about 55%, as it will still afterburn up to 57%, then use your fore engines to swing your nose toward your opponent. Your speed will continue to fall, but with the ability to hover, simply move to the center of your opponent's turn circle and transition to a dynamic hover, floating in the center of the circle while using your lead indicator to target them with your cannon. Try to get them to bleed until they stall or use your partial hover to outmanoeuvre them in a stall speed dogfight. Be careful, however, as it will take time to transition out of a short range fight. Enter at your peril.
Pros and cons
- VTOL/Thrust Vectoring
- Surprising high speed manoeuvrability
- Excellent radar range/difficult to notch/IRST
- Sufficient fuel capacity for plenty of afterburning
- Heavy duty IR missile
- Fairly low top speed for its BR
- R-60M is flared off easily
- Only carries four missiles
While the Yak-38 and its later modernized Yak-38M variant fulfilled the role of a fleet defence strike fighter for the Soviet navy, the aircraft were considered obsolete almost immediately due to the many shortcomings they had, such as a very poor range of less than 100 km, difficulty operating in hot weather, inability to operate at night due to lack of radar or advanced targeting systems, horrible controllability and manoeuvrability due to the heavy weight and high wing loading, and a small combat payload among other things. As early as 1973, the AVMF and OKB-115, led by General Designer Aleksander Yakovlev, went back to the drawing board to create a new generation of VTOL fighters for the Soviet navy. The successor aircraft project outlined a set of requirements: the new aircraft had to be supersonic, incorporate an advanced fire control system and radar/sensor suite, allow for a larger range of operations, and include a larger array of weapons. At the time of the project, no aircraft like this existed in the world, and the only equivalent that came close was the french Dassault Balzac V prototype.
This new aircraft would be designed around the new Soyuz-Tumansky R-79V lift/cruise afterburning turbofan, starting its life as the Yak-36P heavy VTOL naval interceptor. However, after substantial changes and almost a complete redesign of the aircraft resulting from reconsideration of the project requirements, the project would be redesignated as the Yak-41. In mid 1974, the Communist Party's Central Committee and Council of Ministers would issue a directive for the development of a new Soviet VTOL fighter, officially kickstarting the project. After many years of research and development, the design was finalized and submitted for review in June of 1980. The design invoked many new technologies not yet standardized in the Soviet Union, such as composite materials and advanced radars. Many setbacks with the R-79V engine and the Phazotron S-41 radar development programs caused the development schedule of the Yak-41 to be delayed by a few years. In 1983, the first static (non-flying) prototype was completed, and static ground testing commenced until the radar, engine, and fly-by-wire/power-by-wire systems were completed. The first flying prototype was soon completed and on March 9th, 1987 performed its maiden flight. Many of the important systems such as the S-41 radar and the other important avionics were still not completed fully, and would be incorporated later into the second flyable prototype which was completed in 1989. The second prototype was a more definitive "Yak-41" prototype, this time including most of its avionics and fire control system, such as the Zhuk S-41M radar which was completed by now, and would go as far as to mount mock-up missiles and weapons for flight testing and "simulated" firing during trials. The most notable missing piece of avionics was the IRST system, which was ready to be installed when completed as shown by the cut-out for it on top of the nose on the second flying prototype.
The Yak-41 showed great promise, and at this stage of flight testing started setting many world records. To keep its development and true identity secret, the Soviet Union registered the aircraft as the "Yak-141" instead of Yak-41 with international record keeping agencies, hence where the 141 designation comes from. The Yak-41 program was proceeding smoothly at that point, with many flight tests scheduled and performed successfully over the next few years. Most notably, by 1991 the Yak-41s had flown to Severomorsk-1 airbase and successfully performed carrier trials and testing, including both VTOL and STOL operations from the carriers Baku (later renamed Admiral Gorshkov), in anticipation of future service deployment aboard the new and upcoming Type 1143.5 carrier Tblisi (later renamed to Admiral Kuznetsov) after the aircraft is accepted into service in the upcoming years.
However, as promising as the aircraft was, the program was ultimately terminated in 1992 due to lack of funding after the collapse of the USSR. The Yakovlev design bureau then started trying to find foreign investors and buyers for the aircraft. Shortly after, a very unlikely foreign investor appeared at Yakovlev's doorstep, as Lockheed Corporation started negotiations for further funding more Yak-141 prototypes. The two flying prototypes, White 75 and White 77, would both be repainted into identical "White 144" liveries, and the two static non-flying prototypes would be cannibalized for spare parts before being scrapped to ensure that public display of the Yak-41 was flawless. The first public appearance of the Yak-41 occurred famously at the 1992 Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom. However, the Yak-41s would be banned from performing vertical take-offs after a few days at the airshow due to "excessive wear to the runway", a testament to the powerful thrust from the engines in vertical flight. Shortly after, Yakovlev had announced that they had successfully reached an agreement with Lockheed for 4 million $USD in funding for two more flying prototypes, a twin-seat trainer prototype, and a single static (non-flying) testbed to test improvements in avionics. The partnership had actually begun almost immediately after the USSR had collapsed, but was not revealed publicly by Yakovlev and Lockheed until September 6th, 1992. It is widely believed that many of the technological advancements from the Yak-41 program would be directly applied by Lockheed through their partnership to the upcoming X-35 prototype in the Joint-Strike Fighter program, most notably the later VTOL F-35B variant, which shares many basic features with the Yak-41.
The two flyable prototypes, now no longer flyable, would be exhibited as static ground displays at the 1993 Moscow airshow. Shortly after, the two prototypes would undergo cosmetic restoration before being placed in museums for permanent display. The first flyable prototype retained its post-soviet "White 141" livery, and is permanently displayed at the Central Air Force Museum at Monino. The second prototype was re-painted into the "White 75" livery originally used by its sister aircraft (the first prototype), and placed in the Technical Museum, Arkhangelskoye, Moscow.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- ↑ Gordon, Yefim. Yakovlev Yak-36, Yak-38 & Yak-41: The Soviet "Jump Jets." Midland Publishing, 2008.
- ↑ Gordon, Yefim, and Bill Gunston. "'Yakovlev's Experimental VTOLs' p.213-215." Soviet X-Planes, Midland, Hinckley, 2000.
- ↑ Gordon, Yefim (1997). Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924. London, UK: Putnam Aeronautical Books.
|A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau (Яковлев Опытное конструкторское бюро)|
|Yak-1||Yak-1 · Yak-1B|
|Yak-3||Yak-3 · Yak-3 (VK-107) · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U|
|Yak-9||Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Yak-9K · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9P · Yak-9T · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT|
|Yak-15||Yak-15P · Yak-15|
|Yak-38||Yak-38 · Yak-38M|
|Foreign use||▄Yak-3 · Challe's ▄Yak-9T|
|USSR jet aircraft|
|Yakovlev||Yak-15 · Yak-15P · Yak-17 · Yak-23 · Yak-28B · Yak-30D · Yak-38 · Yak-38M · Yak-141|
|Mikoyan-Gurevich||MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l) · MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17 · MiG-17AS · MiG-19PT|
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis|
|MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD · MiG-27M · MiG-27K|
|Lavochkin||La-174 · La-15 · La-200|
|Sukhoi||Su-9 · Su-11 · Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-7BMK · Su-17M2 · Su-17M4 · Su-22M3 · Su-25 · Su-25K|
|Ilyushin||IL-28 · IL-28Sh|