The F-26 Stalma Multi-Role Fighter, developed for Direct Commercial Sales to U.S. and NATO allies, is a fifth generation, single place, single engine air superiority aircraft offering variable geometry, supercruise, enhanced agility and low observability characteristics. The Stalma, developed by Stavatti Tactical Air Warfare Systems, is scheduled to enter production, pending completion of a Demonstration and Validation (DEM/VAL) program and a Full Scale Development (FSD) program, by 2004. Stavatti anticipates a nominal production rate of 50 to 100 aircraft per annum, with an overall international distribution of over 700 units.
Optimized for air superiority, the F-26 offers expanded multi-mission capability. Suitable for Air Dominance, Combat Air Patrol, Carrier Air Defence, Interception, Close Air Suppport, Interdiction, Deep Precision Strike, Suppression of Enemy air Defenses, Tactical Reconnaissance and Nuclear Stores Delivery, the F-26 demonstrate unparalleled performance in an affordable, reduced maintenance package. The F-26 was developed to satisfy a distinct USAF requirement: the Follow-On-to-F-16. Beginning with the Multi-Role-Fighter (MRF) program, critical shortcomings as realized in the Gulf War were to be eliminated while maintaining a unit flyaway cost in the $25 million class.
The F-26 incorporates the signature reduction of the F-117, while essentially tripling the Nighthawks warload through the use of low-signature external stores dispensers. This renders the Stalma ideal for first strike operations. Displaying maneuverability and performance which exceeds that of existing F-16s while offering strategic radius and weapons load, the Stalma satisfies all deep penetration and air-to-air mission needs. Foremost on Stavatti’s design criteria, however, has been unit flyaway and total lifetime weapon system procurement cost. The F-26 has been developed not to exceed existing fighter performance specifications by a margin of percentage points, but to significantly improve performance and levels of airframe/avionics/systems technology and sophistication for the same cost, or a slight adjustment in excess, of current existing aircraft ($25 million).
The F-26 is a twin tailed, single engine, swing wing aircraft incorporating canard foreplanes, a dual air inlet system, a fixed M61A2 internal gun complemented by a very large array of external weapons and a single crew member. Conceived to outperform and out-fight any possible threat to air superiority, the Stalma is a quintessential dog-fighter. Complemented by proven and integrated avionics, the Stalma arrangement embraces multi-mission capability. A fifth generation platform, the F-26 design is a latter day contemporary of the Boeing and Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter contenders (X-32 and X-35 respectively). Benefiting from powerplant, armament, avionics and systems advanced technology pioneered in the YF-22/YF-23 DEM/VAL and F-22 Raptor EMD programs, the F-26 serves as a common integration point for state-of-the-art components as produced by leading US domestic prime and sub-contractors alike.