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The Soviets started the war with woefully obsolete russian aircraft such as the I-153 biplane fighter which was pressed into front line service by necessity. By the war’s end however, the arsenal had grown to fighters such as the Yak-3 and La-7 which was a match for the Luftwaffe’s Me-109 and Fw-190.

In June 1941 the Soviet airforce was just starting the rearmament – the airplane park was switching generation. Older models – like the I-15 and I-16 were being replaced by newly designed next generation of fighters. The bomber fleet was not yet in the active process of rearmament, but the new generation bomber designes were nearing completion and production as about to start.