The Yak-3 was a further modification of the Yak-1, produced in 1944 and 1945, with a total of 4,848 built, and considered one of the best fighters of the war. In February 1943 a new Yak-1M variant was completed. It was a further development of the Yak-1, differing from it mainly in lower weight and smaller wing span. Yak-1M possessed excellent horizontal, and especially vertical, maneuvrability. Top speed greatly improved compared to earlier serial-production Yaks. Despite improved performance, the aircraft remained easy to fly and did not require extensive pilot training.
Therefore, the new modification went into production, receiving a new designation, Yak-3.