The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, commonly referred to as the Warthog, has been the U.S. Airforce’s most reliable and effective close air support aircraft. The Warthog which first took flight in 1972 is known for its durability and toughness, able to survive direct hits from armor piercing and highly-explosive projectiles up to 23mm. The U.S. Airforce has been looking to retire the Warthog, but have doubts that its slated successor the F-35 can match its performance. Stavatti Aerospace believes its Machete concept could fill the void. Meet the propeller driven SM-27 and the jet-propelled SM-28.
The Machete is Stavatti’s family of next generation Close Air Support, Attack, Counter Insurgency, Lead-In Fighter, Air Defense Fighter and Advanced Pilot Trainer aircraft. A series of aircraft designed to satisfy a breadth of military aviation requirements with a modular airframe, the Machete family includes the SM-27 Turboprop Machete, the SM-28 Turbofan Machete and the SM-47 Super Machete. Now under development to satisfy tomorrow’s military trainer, attack and air defense needs, the first Machetes can enter production as early as 2020.
The SM-27 is a next generation single engine Close Air Support, Maneuver Air Support, Anti-Armor, Precision All-Weather Attack and Advanced Trainer aircraft. Powered by a 4,000 SHP PW150 turboprop, the SM-27 is a three surface aircraft featuring a moderate aspect ratio wing, canard foreplanes, twin vertical stabilizers and an all moving horizontal tail. With a maximum level speed of 400 Knots, the SM-27 is armed with a 30mm cannon and can carry up to 8,500 lbs of ordinance over 2,000 nm. Featuring an F-16 style, all-glass cockpit that incorporates F-16 flight control grips and reclined Martin Baker Mk16 ejection seats, the turboprop Machete will be produced in single seat attack (SM-27S) and two seat tandem attack/trainer (SM-27T) configurations. With in-flight refueling capability, integrated avionics and 9-G plus maneuverability in the clean-configuration, the turboprop Machete will be available in basic strike configurations without radar, as well as fully-equipped variants with Vixen 500E AESA or AN/APG-67 variant radar and a comprehensive EW/Self Protection Suite.
A modern “A-1 Skyraider,” the SM-27 is designed to serve as a successor to attack aircraft including the A-10 Warthog, Su-25 Frogfooot, A-7 Corsair II, A-29 Super Tucano ALX, OV-10 Bronco, A-37 Dragonfly, IA-58 Pucara and other attack aircraft. The SM-27 is scheduled to enter LRIP in 2019-2020 with prototype roll-out anticipated in 2017-2018. The SM-27S/T will be qualified at the AFFTC at Edwards, AFB. The SM-27S/T will be certified to applicable FAA type and production certification standards (FAR 25, etc.) as a fully qualified Day/Night VFR and IFR (VMC/IMC) aircraft.
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