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Yak-44 AEW

The development of the Yak-44E ship radar picket and guidance [RLDN] aircraft is inseparably connected with the creation of Russian aircraft-carrying ships [TAKR] and a constant increase in the importance of information input for the military operation of carrier-based aviation, especially at the large distance from coast airfields. As is known, the formation and development of the concepts of creation and combat employment of the aircraft-carrying ships in the USSR, and then in Russia, started with very inconsistent and contradictory solutions. This led to the analogous solutions with the production of technical policy and the creation of aviation equipment for these ships. The Yakovlev design bureau became the direct witnesses of the concentrated consequences of such solutions.

The contemporary Russian aircraft-carrying fleet consists of the one ship (a large part of the time which is located in repair) and Su-33 aircraft (which the system has about ten). But even these forces in the composition of ship group would be helpless in the absence timely information about the air and above-water enemy, which, as world experience has shown, it is most effectively provided by ship-based RLDN aircraft, which act in the composition of the air group of ship. The problem of information input of military operations of the ship groups is solved by the installation of special radio-technical complex to different platforms, as which can be helicopters, aircraft, convertiplanes, balloons, dirigibles, unmanned flying vehicles, and also ships. The most effective platforms at present are acknowledged to be aircraft.

Aircraft RLDN Yak-44E is one of the basic information- reconnaissance means of the aircraft-carrying ship and is the extension radar post, combined with the air fighter control and direction center of aviation. Yak-44[E] ensures the control of air, ground-based and above-water space, the notification of the troops about the actions of enemy and the guidance of aviation to the discovered air, ground-based and above-water targets.

The leaders of the creation of aircraft RLDN Yak-44E at different times were L.S.Yakovlev, A.A.Levinskikh, S.A.Yakovlev and A.N.Dondukov. Since January 1991, the leader of the theme became chief designer V.A.Mitkin.

The Yak-44E aircraft counted in the job schedule of OKB up to until 1994, and only at that point the hold in control ended further development, in the absence of financing. Before MAKS-95 many media reported the forthcoming public demonstration of the newest developments of Russia, including Yak-44E. However, in the Defense Ministry of Russia, wrote the press, they considered the demonstration of aircraft with the unique potential of clearly premature placed in it. Possibility by it export in connection with the high expenditures (investments) for R & D seemed them at that time several doubtful, but to reveal all its characteristics was not in the interests of Russia. Thus, the resolution of Defense Ministry seemingly clearly showed that Russia there is that to hide be how to be proud in the region of aircraft construction.

It should be noted that partially the task of ship aircraft AEW could be solved (and subsequently it was forced this to make) ship helicopter KA-252RLD (KA-31), which was created on the base of ship transport- combat helicopter KA-252TB (KA -29). However, its functional possibilities were seriously limited. Although it ensured observation of the surface ships, aim designation to ship rocket weapon, the detection and tracking the low-flying aircraft, helicopters and cruise missiles, it could not solve the most important for carrier-based aviation - the problem of the guidance of fighters to the aerial targets. Moreover, the characteristics of its radar in a detection range and a quantity of tracking the target dispatch not in what comparison with the characteristics of the Yak-44E, yes even but to key technical flight characteristics (cruising speed, the time of duty at the assigned removal) helicopters always considerably lose to aircraft.

It is long ago known that the effective application of carrier-based fighters can be ensured only when, on board TAKR the RLDN aircraft are present. But in 1992. Defense Ministry RF accepted another [some thought clearly short-sighted] solution, and financing the development of aircraft Yak-44E was stopped. This solution is not thus far reviewed, although TAKR "Admiral Kuznetsov" continues to perform, and building new aircraft carriers is planned. Therefore despite the fact that from the moment of the curtailment of works on the aircraft Yak-44E past it is already more than 15 years, it did not lose its urgency and it remains the only aircraft in the world capable of effectively acting from the aircraft-carrying ships, equipped with takeoff ski-jump ramps ["springboards"], and this ability even long time will be claimed not only for the Russian Navy. High takeoff and landing characteristics of aircraft Yak-44E and its versions are important also if necessary actions from coast airfields, which have short or damaged VPP, especially in the regions with the under-developed airfield network.

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