Photographed at Monino Air Force Museum on 24 August 2009.
The Yakovlev Yak-38 (Russian: Як-38, NATO reporting name: "Forger") was Soviet Naval Aviation's first and only operational VTOL multi-role combat aircraft.
The Yak-38 used a hands-free landing system. The aircraft could negotiate a telemetry/telecommand link with a computer system in the aircraft carrier which would allow it to be guided onto the deck with no interaction from the pilot.
The Yak-38 was the first production model, it first flew on January 15, 1971, and entered service with the Soviet Naval Aviation on August 11, 1976. A total of 143 Yak-38s were produced.
The Yak-38M was an upgraded version of the Yak-38, the main difference being the new Tumansky R-28V-300 and two Rybinsk RD-38 engines. The maximum take off weight in VTOL was increased from 10 × 300 kg (660 lb) to 11 × 300 kg (660 lb) (or 12,000 kg/26,450 lb in short takeoff mode). The air intakes were slightly widened and the pylons under wings were reinforced to carry a ton of armament. Yak-38M begin entered service with the Soviet Naval Aviation after June 1985, a total of 50 Yak-38M were produced.
Picture added on 07 January 2010 at 10:19