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The Yak-9K featured the same 12 cylinder inline engine as the 9T, capable of generating 1142 horsepower. Despite the 45mm cannon, which fired rounds 8mm wider than the 9T's 37mm cannon, the Yak-9K's performance remained relatively equal to that of the 9T. Both aircraft were designed to destroy enemy tanks, a task which required heavy-hitting cannon, resulting in the fact that Luftwaffe pilots were taught to exercise extreme caution when facing a Yak 9, and to avoid head-on confrontations with one.