The SM-27 Machete will provide the USAF with a highly effective, dedicated Light Attack Aircraft (LAA) solution through a modular platform that serves as the foundation for an entire family of aircraft. Conceived as a clean-sheet-of-paper CAS aircraft, the SM-27 embodies the key elements necessary for attack mission effectiveness as drawn from case studies and lessons learned throughout the history of air warfare. Compounding the ability to fly low and slow with extraordinary damage tolerance, the ability to quickly acquire targets and deliver significant firepower and precision ordnance on demand while offering a high level of maneuverability thanks to a novel three surface canard-wing-tail configuration, the SM-27 is unlike any CAS aircraft either in production today or presently under development. Offering low landing speeds, high maximum level speeds, long endurance, comprehensive avionics and inherent affordability, the SM-27 will be an excellent CAS aircraft be it three or thirty years from now.
While many combat aircraft may fly CAS missions, few of them are designed for the CAS role. In the United States there is an ongoing discussion as to whether or not the F-35 JSF can effectively replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II in its CAS role. Likewise there is an expanding discussion regarding the role of light attack aircraft in the force structure of future air forces dominated largely by fifth generation low-observable fighters. The SM-27 bridges both of those worlds being a new design CAS aircraft that merges many of the elements of the A-10 into a platform that may incorporate many of the sensor, avionic and EW systems introduced by fifth generation fighters while being nearly as cost effective and affordable to procure and operate as a light attack variant of a training aircraft.
The SM-27 is Stavatti’s single engine, non low-observable Super CAS aircraft designed for both US Domestic and NATO/Allied Air Force attack needs. These are very important qualifications because they express the uniqueness of the Machete mission while differentiating it from both its competitors and historical comparatives. The Machete is the result of many years of design evolution to incorporate essential elements, such as damage tolerant foam metal sandwich structures, into an aircraft to ensure it is the most effective attack platform within its class for decades to come. In creating the Machete, Stavatti studied what we considered to be the most effective CAS aircraft: the P-47 Thunderbolt, the A-1 Skyraider and the A-10 Warthog and aligned the key characteristics that led to their success into a single, aesthetically blended, original design.
As an all new design, Stavatti offers the USAF something radically different: A vehicle for the future. The Machete is a new breed of weapon system conceived in an environment of network centric warfare, pilotless autonomy and supercomposite alloy sandwich structures. With structural design completed in late 2016, the Machete will be the first production aircraft to employ disruptive technologies including a resilient foam metal sandwich structure and a Canopy Embedded Display (CED). Yet it also combines the new with proven off-the-shelf systems including the PW150 turboprop and the GAU-8/A or GAU-13/A 30mm cannon. Designed for operation within the USAF, USN and USMC the SM-27 will offer full NATO interoperability while raising the standard for all NATO/Allied combat aircraft through its use of game changing structures and a design philosophy driven by open architecture.
The SM-27 presents a new era in both CAS and Light Attack. A propeller driven single engine aircraft philosophically similar to the P-47 and the A-1 Skyraider, the Machete offers the lethality of the A-10 in an inherently armored, highly survivable package. A highly maneuverable STOL aircraft suitable for forward operations, the Machete is a rugged aircraft. Conceived for a very long service life and built from corrosion resistant alloys, the Machete with both its extended range, endurance and speed offers all the characteristics necessary to address the CAS, attack and patrol requirements of the USAF. An advantageous solution for the LAA and CAS needs of the United States of today, tomorrow and beyond, the Machete is designed for the mission.