Aviation Historian 25
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B.Taghvaee - The soviet SAM-jammer
Yak-28PP "White 53” of the 118th OAPREB, a specialised electronic warfare unit of the V-VS, was captured above the clouds by Ukrainian aviation journalist and photographer the late Sergei Skrynnikov in 1991.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the 118th OAPREB was absorbed into the Ukrainian Air Force (ZSU). The last surviving Yak-28PP in Ukraine is “Yellow 59”, which is on display at the Ukrainian Air Force Museum at Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine.
Members of the public get a close view of Yak-28PP “Blue 60” of the 118th OAPREB during an “open house” at Chortkov Air Base in 1990, by which time the Brewer-Es had been painted in a three-tone camouflage. The Yak-28PP was fitted with five receiver antennae located around the extensively glazed large-diameter conical nose.
Yak-28PP “Blue 50” was one of a number Yak-28s of various sub-types to be sent to Pushkin, near St Petersburg, for overhaul in the very early 1990s; they were ultimately withdrawn from service while there, however, and remained on the west side of the airfield until 2002, when most were unceremoniously scrapped.
Although of indefferent quality, this photograph by Sergei Skrynnikov shows the Yak-28PP's extensively reworked bomb bay area, which was redesigned to house a retractable module containing the aircraft's various ECM suites. The three ventral air intakes required to regulate the module's temperature are visible midway along the fuselage.
"Yellow 59" at Vinnytsia retains its UB-16-57M rocket-projectile pods, which would be used to fire S-5P rocket projectiles loaded with chaff ahead of the aircraft as a countermeasure against radar-guided SAMs.
Following their handover from the V-VS in the early 1990s, the ZSU’s Yak-28PPs had the Ukrainian tryzub (trident), representing the nation’s coat of arms, applied to their fins, although the camouflage was essentially a hangover from V-VS service.
A pair of Yak-28PPs participate in an exercise circa 1991-92. The ZSU inherited 22 of the remaining 39 Brewer-Es still in service when the Soviet Union collapsed. The first prototype of the Yak-28PP’s intended successor, the Sukhoi Su-24MP Fencer-F, made its first flight in 1980, although ultimately fewer than 15 were built.
Yak-28Ps and Ls on the production line in 1967 at Irkutsk, Siberia, where Yak-28PPs were later produced.
Showing the type’s distinctive velosipedno (bicycle) undercarriage arrangement with wingtip stabilisers, a 118th OAPREB Yak-28PP prepares to land at Chortkov in Ukraine in the mid-1980s, when most of the V-VS’s fleet of Brewer-Es was still bare-metal. Note the chaff-dispensing rocket-projectile pods on the outer wing sections.
The Yak-28PP was essentially equivalent to the USAF’s development of the Douglas B-66 Destroyer into the EB-66 electronic-warfare specialist platform, which proved invaluable in Vietnam. This EB-66 of the 41st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron awaits minor repairs at Takhli, Thailand, in May 1968.
The Yak-28 was a development of the Yak-27, initially designed as an interceptor, but also modified to become the Yak-27R tactical-reconniassance aircraft, an example of which is seen here. The Yak-27’s mid-mounted wing was enlarged and moved up to the shoulder position on the Yak-28, which first flew in March 1958.