On 24 April 2023 Stavatti received a Purchase Order from an Allied Air Force for their acquisition of 50 single engine turbofan powered SM-28 Machete Close Air Support (CAS), Attack an Anti-Tank Aircraft. The order specified 25 two seat SM-28T and 25 single seat SM-28S Machete aircraft. The aircraft are intended to serve as a next generation CAS and attack aircraft with significant anti-tank capability. The purchase order specifies an interest in the acquisition of the SM-28 aircraft as well as Stavatti’s provision of spare parts, ground support equipment, ground based training systems, initial stores and ordnance, maintenance and logistical support for the type as well as simulators.
The SM-28 is Stavatti’s all new, next generation, digitally designed Close Air Support, Anti-Armor, Precision All- Weather Attack, Counter Insurgency and Advanced Trainer. The SM-28S Turbofan Machete is armed with the infamous GAU-8 30mm cannon and can perform many missions of the Thunderbolt II, serving as a potential successor to the A-10C in the CAS role. Powered by a single, non afterburning GEAE F414 derivative turbofan offering over 14,500 lbs thrust, the SM-28 is a heavily armored, 9-g capable attack aircraft featuring in-flight refueling, an AESA radar, integrated avionics, integrated EW systems and a maximum external warload of 12,000 to 15,000 lbs, depending upon internal fuel load. Able to operate from runways under 4,000 ft long with full external stores, the SM-28 will have a maximum level speed in excess of Mach 0.90 and a radius of 675 nm on internal fuel. Produced in single seat (SM-28S), two seat (SM-28T) and unpiloted (SM-28U) configurations, the SM-28 will benefit from active anti-threat countermeasures system that includes adaptive protection.
The SM-28 will satisfy a global need for a high and low speed, efficient, high endurance, survival CAS and attack aircraft that has exceptional long range, long endurance and a 30mm cannon. This need is extremely evident both domestically in the US and worldwide. A solution to future organized and entrenched threat and regular forces, the Machete is a “Super CAS” aircraft ideally suited for precision attack of high value targets.
The purchase order for the 50 SM-28s was accompanied by an executed form DSP-83 and supporting documentation that was submitted by Stavatti to the State Department-Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) for export licensing and approval. Delivery of the SM-28 is expected to begin following its military qualification. Stavatti projects 50 to 100 aircraft will be produced annually by Stavatti at production facilities in the USA. Production of the SM-28 is projected to create more than 1,200 direct jobs.