The Yakovlev Yak-9 (Russian: Яковлев Як-9) was a single-engine single-seat multipurpose fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union in World War II and after. Fundamentally a development of the robust and successful Yak-7B fighter based in turn on a tandem-seat advanced trainer Yak-7UTI, the Yak-9 arrived to Soviet fighter aviation regiments at the Stalingrad Front in December 1942 and played a major role in taking air superiority over Luftwaffe aces on the new Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighters during the grand Battle of Kursk in summer 1943.
The Yak-9 had a lowered rear fuselage decking and all-around vision canopy. Its lighter metal longerons gave the new fighter a potential to increase fuel load and armament that previous models with wooden airframe had lacked. The maneuverable, high-speed at low/medium altitudes and easy to control Yak-9 was one of the best and the most mass-produced Soviet fighter of World War II. It was produced in different variants including the Yak-9T with the 37 mm and the “large-calibre” Yak-9K with the 45 mm cannon firing through propeller hub to be effectively used against enemy tanks and aircraft, the fighter-bomber Yak-9B with the inner hanger behind cockpit of up to 400 kg bombs, the long-range Yak-9D and the Yak-9DD with additional wing fuel tanks to escort Allied bombers over Eastern Europe, the Yak-9U with the more powerful engine and improved aerodynamics. The Yak-9 remained in production from 1942 to 1948, with 16,769 built (14,579 during the war).