Basic versions of the "twenty-eight" were created over 10 years by successive modernization were quite successful. Although this evolutionary path created the basic design flaws of the Yak-28, but apparently it was allowed to get government support and eventually launch the aircraft into production, rather than the Tupolev plane "98" or a SV Ilyushin Il-54.
The Yak-28 reflected the then tendency to develop the airframe capable of multiple modifications and versions. The Irkutsk factory manufactured about ten Yak-28s (the Yak-28B, Yak-28BI, Yak-28U, Yak-28I, Yak-28L, Yak-28PP) and other modifications, which caused additional difficulties to the Factory.
In 1961, the upgraded Yak-28L, and in 1962, -Yak-28I were developed and about 111 and 223 of them, respectively, were manufactured at the Irkutsk Aircraft Factory. The OPB-116 optic sight and the "Initiativa" radar were provided to ensure the autonomous mobile target search. The "Lotos" radio rangefinder bombing system enabling to drop bombs on the fixed target detected earlier. Later on, the Yak-28B was upgraded to the Yak-28BI version (with the "Initiativa" radar), and the Yak-28L were refitted into the Yak-28RR radiation reconnaissance aircraft with the special air sampling pods under the wings. Two R-11AF-300 (2x5750 kgf) engines were mounted in the wing nacelles. The further Yak-28I and Yak-28L were powered by more powerful R-11AF2-300 (2x6200 kgf) engines.
In 1963, the front-line Yak-28R was developed on the basis of the bomber version. It was powered by the R-11AF2-300 engine, and had a bay with the panoramic camera and two side camera hatches. In the central fuselage the long-focus camera was mounted. The aircraft featured the radio reconnaissance means. The combat radius was 1190 km and the flight range -2 hours 55 min.
- UC-28B - Version with radar and Lotus initiative.
- Yak-28L - variant range-difference radio command guidance system DBS-2S "Lotus".
- Yak-28I - a variant with an integrated weapon control system including: radar "Initiative-2", an optical sight OPB-116 and autopilot AP-28K.
- Yak-28N - a variant with weapon system K-28P includes two anti-radar missiles X-28, and control equipment.
- Yak-28R - reconnaissance variant based on the Yak-28.
- Yak-28RR - radiation reconnaissance.
- Yak-28PP - jammer aircraft.
- Yak-28U - training aircraft. Code for NATO - Maestro.
- Yak-28P - fighter-interceptor.
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