The Yak 3 was regarded as one of the finest interceptors of WWII and was nicknamed "Dogfighter Supreme." Luftwaffe pilots became accustomed to shooting down poorly equipped, hastily trained Russians.
The Yak-3 entered service in 1944, constructed in plywood instead of fabric covering the rear fuselage, mastless radio antenna, reflector gunsight and improved armour and engine cooling. Armed with a single 20 mm ShVAK cannon and one 12.7 mm UBS machine gun, it was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both rookie and veteran pilots and ground crew as well. It was robust, easy to maintain and was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 13,000 ft.