The Yak-38 Forger used two in-line Rybinsk RD-36-35FVR lift engines (6,722 lb thrust each) immediately behind the cockpit inclined with the engine exhaust at 13 rearward. One Soyuz Tumanskiy/Khatchaturov R-27V-300 turbojet (13,444 lb thrust) was mounted in the center fuselage and exhausted through two hydraulically actuated vectoring nozzles (connected by a transverse shaft), one on each side of the fuselage just aft of the trailing edge of the wing.
The first prototype flew in 1971 and the Yak-38 (originally designated the Yak-36M) first appeared to the West in July 1976 when the Kiev deployed with a developmental squadron of Forger-As and traveled through the Mediterranean. The normal complement for the Kiev-class through deck aircraft carrier was a dozen single-seat Forger-As and one or two twin-seat trainer Yak-38U Forger-Bs.
The primary roles were fleet defense (particularly against shadowing maritime surveillance aircraft), reconnaissance, and anti-ship strike, but was never used in combat. The Forger was removed from front line service in 1992-93, although a few remained in the inventory for another year as limited proficiency training aircraft. A total of 231 aircraft had been built by the time production ended in 1988.
Source: AHS V/STOL Wheel
Design authority: Joint Stock Company A. S. Yakovlev
Primary manufacturer: Joint Stock Company A. S. Yakovlev
Parent type: No type defined
Aircraft status: No longer flying
VTOL type: Other Powered Lift
Compound type: N/A
Lift devices: 4 in Hybrid configuration
Dedicated control device: 99 Other
Crew required: 1 in Single seater arrangement
Landing gear: Wheels (all retractable)