The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a single-engine, single crew Soviet fighter from WWII. It was a formidable fighter aircraft with excellent performance as a low altitude dogfighter and with high power-to-weight ratio. Yak-3 development was retarded in 1941, because of the German incursion and lack of aluminum for aircraft construction. However in 1943, Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev designed the Yak-3 to modernize and improve the capabilities of the Yak-1 to compete with the capabilities of Luftwaffe fighters. With the eventual development and installation of the Klimov VK-107 engine to improve its performance, the Yak-3, entered service in 1944. Eventually 4,848 were built. The Yak-3 was easy to maintain, successful in dogfights, rugged, and an easy-to-handle aircraft. In 1944, delivery to the frontline began. It flew many successful sorties, downing may German fighters while experiencing low losses. That same year, French fighter pilots employed the Yak-3 in nearly 100 victories against the Luftwaffe. Their unit was called the Normandie-Niemen Group who, as part of the Western allied forces, supported Soviet forces until the end of the war in the European theater.