Yak-27R. A Soviet high-speed reconnaissance aircraft from 1956. Flight range – 1170 km, max. speed – 1300 km/h, ceiling – 16550 m

The Yakovlev Yak-27 (NATO reporting name “Flashlight-C”) was a family of Soviet supersonic aircraft developed in 1958 from the Yak-121 prototype. The most built variant was the tactical reconnaissance Yak-27R (NATO reporting name “Mangrove”).

The Yak-121 prototype was developed as a successor to the Yak-25 family and it became the base for the Yak-27 family of supersonic interceptor and tactical reconnaissance aircraft. The Yak-27 and Yak-27K interceptors, armed with guns and K-8 missiles respectively, reached or exceeded their requirements, but were overtaken in performance by the Sukhoi Su-9, and so production was not authorized.

A high-altitude interceptor version, the Yak-27V, was converted from the Yak-121 prototype by fitting a 1,300 kg•f (2,866 lb•f) Dushkin S-155 rocket booster in the rear fuselage, and Tumansky RD-9AKYe afterburning turbojets. Although performance was very good, reaching the height of 23,000 m (75,400 ft) during trials, development was halted due to maintenance problems of the Dushkin S-155 rocket engine.

The dedicated high-altitude photo-reconnaissance variant of the Yak-27 interceptor was named Yak-27R (NATO designation “Mangrove”). The radome and radar were replaced with a glazed nose for an observer/navigator, two cameras were added, and the Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannon was deleted from the port-board. It had a longer wing with a span of 11.82 m (38 ft 9 in), with two Tumansky RD-9AF turbojet engines and a top speed of about 1,285 km/h (798 mph) at high altitude. It had a service ceiling of 16,500 m (54,000 ft) and a range of 2,380 km (1,480 mi) with two wing tanks. About 180 aircraft were produced in Plant No.292 in Saratov.

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