On August 28th Stavatti Aerospace submitted two responses to the Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) Capability Request for Information (CRFI). The two responses were submitted to Charles Vanderberg, Program Manager for ASC/XRS at WPAFB, OH. The LAAR CRFI was released to obtain information from industry regarding potential solutions for the most cost-effective strategy for the acquisition of 100 fixed-wing Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft with deliveries starting in 2012 and IOC beginning in 2013.
The Stavatti LAAR response included two separate submissions which proposed the SM-27T two-seat turboprop Machete aircraft and the SM-27L two-seat turbofan Machete aircraft respectively. The SM-27T submission focused upon the delivery of the first LAAR aircraft in Q4 of 2012 with all 100 aircraft delivered before the end of 2015. The SM-27L submission focused upon the delivery of the first LAAR aircraft in Q2 of 2013 and delivery of all 100 aircraft before the end of 2015.
The SM-27T is a two sea tandem COIN/CAS/FAC and Advanced Trainer aircraft. Offering a tactical radius of over 750 nm with internal fuel and able to carry a 6,500 lb warload, the SM-27S/T is a 21st Century A-1 Skyraider. The SM-27S/T is powered by a single 2,920 SHP PW127G Turboprop, is armed with a centerline mounted 30mm cannon and is heavily armored throughout. With a maximum level speed of 360 to 400 KTAS, the turboprop Machete has been designed specifically for COIN/CAS. Featuring an F-16 style, all-glass cockpit, the turboprop Machete will be produced in single seat (SM-27S) and two seat tandem (SM-27T) configurations. With in-flight refueling capability, integrated avionics and 9-g+ maneuverability in the clean-configuration, the turboprop Machete will be available in basic strike configurations without radar as well as more advanced variants that incorporate the AN/APG-67 radar and a comprehensive EW/Self Protection Suite. The SM-27S/T is scheduled to enter LRIP in 2012-2013.
The SM-27J/L Turbofan Machete is also armed with a 30mm cannon and can perform many missions of the A-10A, serving as a potential successor to the OA-10A in the FAC role. Powered by a single, non-afterburning GEAE F414 Derivative Turbofan offering over 14,500 lbs thrust, the SM-27J/L is a heavily armored, 9-g capable attack aircraft featuring in-flight refueling, an AN/APG-67 radar, integrated avionics and EW systems and a maximum external warload of 8,000 lbs. Able to operate from runways under 4,000 ft long with full external stores, the SM-27J/L will have a maximum level speed in excess of Mach 0.85 and a radius of 735 nm on internal fuel. Produced in single seat (SM-27J) and two-seat tandem (SM-27L) configurations, The SM-27J/L is scheduled for production in 2013-2014.