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Rank VII | Premium | Golden Eagles
Challenger DS Pack
This page is about the Soviet fighter La-9. For the Chinese version, see La-9 (China).
GarageImage La-9.jpg
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The La-9 was a single-seat all-metal fighter aircraft developed by the Lavochkin Design Bureau in the late 1940s. It was a departure from previous wooden construction designs like the La-7, featuring an all-metal construction for increased performance and durability. The aircraft had added a pressurized cockpit to address heat issues for the pilot. It was powered by a Shvetsov ASh-82FN engine and armed with 4 x NS23 23mm cannons. A total of 1,882 La-9 planes were produced until 1949 and saw service with the Soviet Air Force, People's Liberation Army Air Force of China, and the Korean People's Army Air Force. It was eventually phased out as jet technology became prevalent in the early 1950s.

It was introduced in Update 1.37. The La-9 has good flight performance and is capable of a variety of tactics such as boom and zoom and regular low altitude flight, like most Soviet fighters. Its engine performs better at altitudes below 4,000 m, and it has a very powerful armament, however with a relatively low ammo pool, good trigger discipline is needed to stay in combat during the whole match.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 6 250 m690 km/h
Turn time21 s
Max altitude13 000 m
EngineShvetsov M-82FN
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight4 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,250 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 662 644 13000 22.1 22.7 14.3 14.3 550
Upgraded 721 690 20.5 21.0 25.6 19.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
850 320 490 451 290 ~13 ~8
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 480 < 340 < 570 > 341

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural850 km/h
Gear320 km/h
  • 8.5 mm steel behind pilot
  • 55 mm bulletproof glass in front of pilot's head
  • 66 mm bulletproof glass behind pilot's head
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks, with neutral gas pressurization system (1 under pilot's feet, 2 in each wing)

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 335 → 4 188 Sl icon.png
RB7 573 → 9 511 Sl icon.png
SB11 320 → 14 217 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications61 400 Rp icon.png
101 900 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 200 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 240 / 510 % Sl icon.png
178 / 178 / 178 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
4 100 Rp icon.png
6 800 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
4 100 Rp icon.png
6 800 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
6 900 Rp icon.png
11 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
10 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
6 900 Rp icon.png
11 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
10 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
4 100 Rp icon.png
6 800 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png

The two most important modules that should be unlocked as soon as possible are the Offensive 23 mm belts and Engine injection. The first gives access to the devastating air target ammo belt while the second one gives a huge boost to the fighters flight characteristics. Difference between a completely stock and a fully upgraded plane is huge (see screenshots in post below), and the first 50 or so battles will be very challenging.

The recommended order of research is as follows:

  1. Offensive 23 mm belts
  2. Radiator
  3. Compressor
  4. Engine
  5. Wings repair
  6. Engine Injection
  7. Everything else, based on personal preferences

One other camouflage besides the default one is currently available – Unicolor Grey Camouflage, which requires 350 enemies destroyed while in the La-9 to be unlocked.


Offensive armament

Weapon 14 x 23 mm NS-23 cannon
Ammunition300 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: NS-23 (23 mm)

The La-9 is armed with:

  • 4 x 23 mm NS-23 cannons, nose-mounted (75 rpg = 300 total)

The La-9's main armament consists of four synchronized 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons located in the upper part of the nose with a total burst mass of 7,90 kg per second (with default belts). The total ammo capacity is only 300 rounds (75 rounds per gun), so make sure the hits count if flying in realistic or simulator battles. The muzzle velocity of the shells lies at 690 ±10 m/s.

An important feature of the armament of the Soviet fighter is its ability to either fire the upper pair of cannons or the lower pair of cannons. This becomes particularly useful when in need of conserving ammo in Realistic or Simulator Battles because 2 cannons are still enough to easily destroy any fighter. Only against resistant and well-defended bombers such as the B-29A-BN is it really necessary to fire all the guns. When firing all 4 at once, be mindful of the powerful recoil as it tends to lift the nose slightly upwards as well as slowing the plane down, since the nose guns are placed above the centre of gravity (this becomes especially noticeable when the throttle is cut down to 0%). In high G turns this push will allow pilots to turn a bit tighter, making deflection shots easier to some regard. Beware that in Simulator Battles the sudden increase of angle of attack may result in a stall if the aircraft was already being pushed to its limit.

The NS-23 gun possesses a high rate of fire of 10 rounds per second. With four guns those are 40 rounds per second. While the rate of fire is 20% slower then that of ShVAK cannons the higher weight of rounds more than makes up for it in terms of damage output. Combined with low ammo capacity per gun it is crucial to maintaining trigger discipline and fire in short bursts.

The ballistics of the cannons can be considered bad and usually require a lot of time getting used to before becoming proficient with them. The drop and spread of the shells are particularly noticeable when firing at large distances.

Usage in battles

Arcade Battles: As all planes, the La-9 has a boosted Flight Model (FM) in the Arcade mode, which allows for better overall performance, from speed and climb rate to manoeuvrability. It performs best at an altitude of 3,400 m and below. The main reason for this is the absence of War Emergency Power (WEP) at altitudes above 4,000 m. To be able to use WEP at altitudes between 3,400 m – 4,000 m it is necessary to maintain a good speed.

In terms of top speed, a fully upgraded La-9 is among the fastest planes at sea level in the game, allowing it to easily outrun most opponents. The acceleration is good even without WEP, but with it, becomes amazing, however, keep in mind not to overuse it and thus overheating the engine. Although it can be cooled off easily by lowering the throttle, thanks to the ASH-82FN being an air-cooled engine, once overheated both the top speed as well as acceleration take a noticeable loss in performance.

The La-9 is not a particularly manoeuvrable plane and should avoid dogfights in most cases as even if won, they are likely to take long enough and leave the plane low on speed – a tempting target for other enemy fighters.

The climb rate of the plane is great until the fighter reaches 4,000 m after which it becomes somewhat moderate in comparison to other planes at rank IV, due to the absence of WEP at higher altitudes. The best IAS (Indicated airspeed) for climbing is 250 km/h.

Another important trait of this fighter is its energy retention, in arcade battles, it is possible to safely dive from 4,000 m to 1,000 m and still be able to recover all that altitude, it also helps to keep flying at above max speed after a dive longer than the average competition at its level.

Maximum true airspeed (TAS) depending on altitude in arcade battle

In Ground Strike battles, La-9 pilots have two choices:
Helping to secure altitude and bomber hunting/escorting – A high risk/high reward option, best attempt this if the La-9 is almost or already fully upgraded. At the start of the battle side climb for a bit, but don't get too separated from friendly fighters that are also climbing. It is important to avoid the initial clash since the La-9 isn't very manoeuvrable and with numerous enemies flying around – an easy target. Instead, provide cover for one of the more nimble teammates that have engaged in a dogfight. Once air superiority has been established, either pursue enemy bombers or escort friendly bombers by shooting down any climbing attackers. Should the team fail in establishing air superiority, don't stay up high as the La-9 gets outperformed by most fighters at higher altitudes. Focus on any enemy bombers within reach and then proceed to the second option.

Covering ground targets and attacking low flying enemies – A relatively low risk/decent reward option, the most appropriate when the player doesn't have the plane upgraded (i.e. when it is in stock condition). The best way to do this is to fly the La-9 an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 m and to position it either at the flanks of the map or directly in front of friendly fighter spawn. A certain distance is to be kept from the core of the enemy airspace, whilst attacking low flying bombers and attackers to protect friendly ground targets, or whilst finding and engaging a furball from above and performing Boom and Zoom attacks on the enemy fighters below. In case of danger, speeding away towards the enemy team's fighter spawn ought to resolve any issues.

Domination mode is arguably the best mode for the La-9 because most enemies are flying below 4,000 m and are thus always allowing the fighter to perform at its best. The approach to Domination battles is always simple yet effective. With the plane above contested airspace at around 2,500 m altitude, one should dive down on an enemy, shoot and extend towards teammates. Once safe, it is time to regain altitude and repeat the process. The La-9 is also capable of quickly capturing airfields since its powerful 23 mm cannons can be fired to use the recoil as a quasi-airbrake.

In the Realistic and Simulator modes, the fight model of the La-9 is no longer boosted in any way. However, the plane is still at its best below 4,000 m, as the WEP is unavailable above 4,000 m just as in the arcade mode. The speeds required to apply WEP at altitudes from 3,000 m to 4,000 m vary slightly from those in AB, but the main idea remains the same – high speed is required.

In realistic and simulator battles start by climbing to an altitude of 2,500 m (if cloudy) or 3,000 m (if the weather is clear). Climbing higher than that is only advised if not alone as the La-9 will be outperformed at high altitude by most enemies. The key to success in the La-9 is teamwork, so consider squading up with a friend. Since it is a bad idea to dogfight, try to get an enemies attention by acting as bait and lure him down to sea level instead. Once the enemy loses his altitude advantage, it is time for the squadmate to attack. Once low, the pursuer won't be able to either catch the bait or escape your ally – presenting themselves as an easy target. Be also sure to target any enemies that are flying low, if the La-9 has an altitude advantage use Boom & Zoom tactics, if the plane is on the same low altitude as the enemy, perform high-speed fly-bys.

Maximum speed (TAS) depending on altitude in RB/SB

Even if not as fast as in arcade battle, it remains among the fastest fighters at low altitude in RB and SB, while also having great acceleration with WEP applied. Keep in mind that this only applies, if the engine isn't overheated – to cool it off, lower the throttle; it will only take a couple of seconds.

Both the manoeuvrability and the climb rate take a drop in performance as well, but the general rule stays the same. Try to avoid dogfights and don't climb above 4,000 m unless not alone or there are no enemies above the La-9. The best IAS for climbing remains 250 km/h.

While the energy retention of the La-9 after a dive in RB and SB is great, one shouldn't dive for more than 2 to 2.5 km at a time, because the plane quickly reaches its maximum allowed speed of 850 km/h IAS or roughly 910 km/h TAS (true airspeed, default speed measurement). Not only that but at speeds above 750 km/h IAS it becomes hard to pull up from a dive due to noticeable control stiffening.

A separate characteristic of the fighter which only really comes into play in RB and SB is the minimal amount of fuel a player can take into battle, which is currently enough for 45 minutes of flight time. In prolonged matches it allows the La-9 to simply outlast its enemies. Once around half of the fuel is consumed an increase of the fighters speed, climb rate, but most importantly roll rate becomes noticeable which is likely to come in handy late game.

This last feature is currently only really useful for SB players. The La-9 is currently one of the planes for which the canopy of the cockpit can be opened to improve the visibility at the expense of some top speed.

Specific enemies worth noting

When fighting German aircraft, the toughest opposition will be late Bf 109's and aircraft of the Fw 190 D series (together with their cousin, the Ta 152 H-1).

The former are deadly opponents above 4,000 m that are well capable of outmanoeuvring the La-9 due to the Soviet fighter's absence of WEP at high altitudes, having also an advantage in regards to climb rate. This leaves the La-9 pilot with two options, either acting as bait - making the Bf 109 loose energy and become vulnerable - or diving down. At lower altitudes, the La-9 regains a fighting chance, but it is usually a tense battle where the deciding factor will be the pilot's individual skill. Don't forget to use combat flaps.

Fw 190 D series/Ta-152 – similar to the Bf 109, these German aircraft possess a climb and also a speed advantage above 4,000 m. However, they will be out-turned by the La-9 in the horizontal, though it may take a while. At lower altitudes, these planes are easy targets as they hold no significant advantages, except for roll rate and considerable firepower. It is unwise to perform head-on attacks against them.

When fighting British aircraft, naturally, different tactics are to be employed.

Late Spitfires, such as the Mk. XVIIIe or the Mk. 22 variants, can easily out-turn the La-9, so employing turn-heavy tactics is heavily discouraged. Their well-performing Rolls-Royce Griffon engines also grant them a better output at a higher altitude, which means that fighting above 4,000 m for the La-9 puts the Soviet pilot at a disadvantage. These Spitfires, however, are not as fast as the La-9 nor do they manoeuvre as well at high speed. Therefore, engagements against these aircraft should consist of Boom & Zoom and Boom & Run oriented tactics.

The Tempest Mk II is of all piston-engine enemies, the La-9's most deadly adversary. Any opportunity to engage one in an advantageous situation should be seized - lest the Tempest is given the upper hand and the La-9 becomes prey. Unlike other piston-engine planes, the Tempest is among those few planes that can rival the La-9 in terms of top-speed at lower altitudes. Climb rate and turn rates are similar, but the British fighter has the edge. To defeat one, very skillful defensive flying is required. The best course of action is to set the Tempest up for an attack on a teammate. One factor that can prove to decide on both sides is knowing how to use Manual Engine Controls.


The best way to fight the La-9 is by exploiting its weaknesses – poor manoeuvrability in dogfights and poor high altitude performance. If flying a more manoeuvrable plane (F8F-1B, Spitfires, Ki-84, N1K2 or Yak-9UT), turn-intensive tactics are recommended. If the La-9 commits to it, it would be easy to destroy it, if not, one ought to climb and employ the tactics recommendable when flying less manoeuvrable fighters.

A less nimble plane (Fw 190, Bf 109 K, F7F etc.) should, once above 4,000 m hold on to that altitude and get in position for Boom & Zoom runs. The only way to catch the La-9, if it is going at full speed at low altitude, is by diving on one, so an altitude advantage is a key to success.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Excellent performance at low altitudes (<3,400 m)
  • Amazing top speed at low altitudes
  • Great energy retention
  • Powerful nose-mounted weaponry
  • Responsive control surfaces
  • Sturdy airframe
  • Very good acceleration (especially with WEP enabled)
  • High rate of fire
  • Ability to fire only half the guns (enabling better ammo conservation and recoil control)


  • Manoeuvrability not good enough for dogfights with most opponents
  • Poor performance at higher altitudes (> 4,000 m)
  • Low ammo capacity
  • Powerful recoil
  • Poor cockpit visibility


Archive of the in-game description

A single-seat all-metal cantilever monoplane fighter.

Continuing the line of the La-5/La-7 fighters, the designers of the Lavochkin Design Bureau wanted to remove all of the wood from the aircraft's construction and create an all-metal fighter. In early 1946, prototype fighter 130 was built, to be launched into full-scale production under the designation of La-9 (Product 48) after the tests had been passed.

The La-9 was a new plane, not just an upgrade of the La-7 with metal parts instead of wooden ones. The La-9 had differently shaped monospar wings with laminar flow airfoils. This plane did not have leading edge slats. The weight savings gained by replacing wood with duralumin enabled the designers to mount five fuel tanks on the aircraft and increase the total fuel capacity.

The La-9's cockpit was more spacious than the La-7's, and its canopy required less framing and provided better visibility. By pressurizing the cockpit and the power unit compartment, one of the main shortcomings of the Lavochkins - the high temperature in the pilot's cockpit during engine operation - was finally overcome. Also, the aircraft's instrumentation system was brought into line with worldwide standards. A radio compass, an attitude indicator, and an identification-friend-or-foe transponder enabled the aircraft to be piloted and engage in dogfights even in difficult weather conditions.

The La-9 had a Shvetsov ASh-82FN fourteen-cylinder two-row radial air-cooled fuel-injected engine producing a maximum power of 1,850 hp.

The plane's armament consisted of four synchronous 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23S cannons with 75 rounds each. A Fairchild gun camera mounted on the right wing panel was used to direct shooting and for training purposes. Later it was replaced with an S-13, its Soviet counterpart, which was placed in the fairing over the cockpit windshield.

Production of the La-9 continued until 1949. A total of 1,882 planes were manufactured. Troops in the Soviet Air Force began to receive the new fighters in 1947. The La-9 did not remain in service for long, since the Air Force quickly switched to jet technology. The early 1950s saw the beginning of the mass handover of piston fighters for warehousing and conservation, as well as the re-equipping of fighting troops with MiG-15 jet aircraft.

In addition to flying with the Soviet Air Force, La-9 fighters remained in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force of China until 1959, laying the foundation for the new Chinese Air Force. When the Korean War began, the La-9 was being supplied to the North Korean Air Force. The first planes were received in September and October 1950. During the final stage of the war, the Koreans used the La-9s as light night bombers. When bomb racks were mounted, the fighter could carry two 50-kg bombs. After the war, La-9s were in service with the Korean People's Army Air Force until the end of the 50s.



See also

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.

External links

Official data sheet - more details about the performance (Russian Forum)

Lavochkin Design Bureau (Лавочкинa Опытное конструкторское бюро)
LaGG-3*  I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66
La-5/7  La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20
La-9/11  La-9 · La-11
Jet Fighters  La-15 · La-174 · La-200
Export  ␗La-9 · ␗La-11
Captured  ▀La-5FN
  *Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov (Лавочкин-Горбунов-Гудков), head designer V. P. Gorbunov

USSR fighters
I-15  I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15 M-25 · I-15bis · Krasnolutsky's I-15bis
  I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
I-16  I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S
I-29  I-29
I-185  I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
I-225  I-225
ITP  ITP (M-1)
MiG-3  MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
LaGG  I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66
La  La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11
Yak-1/7  Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B
Yak-3  Yak-3 · Eremin's Yak-3(e) · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)
Yak-9  Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P
Other countries  ▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc
P-39  ▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15
P-63  ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5