This Weird Little Company Wants to Build the Next A-10
David Axe

Hi, I’m Deane Joyce , COO of TEAM-Stavatti.

So, to respond;


What an interesting use of words, (no, sincerely, it really does make you think) as “weird” can also mean this:


Old English wyrd ‘destiny,’ of Germanic origin. The adjective (late Middle English) originally meant ‘having the power to control destiny,’


Perhaps that was not the intent, so it might be easier to suggest “Weird” might be a misspelling of the word “Resilient”? Resilience is a common thread within TEAM-Stavatti and since TEAM-Stavatti discussed this concept with leadership in the United States Navy, “Resilience” seems to have taken on new meaning in the Special Operations community.

Why a “big gun”?

The Machete Sm27S is designed to be a highly maneuverable aircraft with a medium caliber gun, ideally of 30mm size: The lifting and control surfaces of the Machete create the possibility of maneuverability similar to a Control Configured Vehicle.

See: F-16 AFTI for an example.

Gun Armament Options for the Machete SM27S include (but are not limited to):

• GAU 13 Four barreled 30mm Gatling-type gun

• Rheinmetall 30mm ABM Gun

• Rheinmetall 35 mm KDG “Millennium Gun”

• Twin 40 mm CTAI ABM gun in a “Fast 40” Arrangement

• Bushmaster Mk IV 40mm

Together, the above components create an “Aimed Gun Weapon System” or something the late, great, Chuck Myers referred to as “Maneuver Air Support” (MAS).

What can this achieve? The Machete SM27S with it’s Aimed Gun Weapon System in conjunction with a Control Configured Vehicle type Airframe Design will be able to deliver 116 Sub-500lb Aim Points/aircraft/mission completed. For clarity, a modern Carrier Air Wing (CVAW) (that’s all the aircraft on an aircraft carrier) can deliver approximately <700, sub-500lb Aim Points per 24-hour period (Robert O. Work). Add the number of gun-equipped aircraft (as they are not MAS aircraft) approx. 62 = approx. 762, sub-500lb Aim Points per 24-hour period.

See “Retreat From Range” by Dr. Jerry Hendrix:

A sub-500lb Aim Point (in this context) is considered 10X30mm rounds/M4 grenades (or greater) delivered on target.

30MM caliber was chosen as it appears to be a reasonable size to allow the economic (read: “not crazy expensive”) growth of guided munitions. Guided munitions will allow the Machete to deliver 1216 sub 500lb Aim Points per aircraft/completed mission, equivalent to an M4 grenade or greater.

This “20mm to 40mm Aimed Projectile Technology” will also allow aircraft like the F-35, F-16, F-22, F-15, etc to radically increase their number of aim points as well. Consider this technology as a stepping-stone between today and an aircraft mounted energy weapon.

Efficiencies: Lets take the case of Air Burst Munitions or ABM rounds. ABM rounds seem to be expensive: As an example; the 35mm AHEAD round costs approx. $900 per round (Rheinmettal), while a gun run from an A-10 firing 120 rounds in a 2 second burst costs approx. $5000 (POGO). It requires about 26x35mm AHEAD rounds to cover the same area as an A-10 gun run. This translates to approx. $23,400 as opposed to $5000 with the A10. However the game changer is MAS. If your enemy is dispersed and not conveniently aligned in a 200m long and 26m wide rectangle (as enemies tend to do if they think an A10 is going to be flying around) Maneuver Air Support allows the Machete to deliver effective fires on target to approximately 20 dispersed groups in one gun run as opposed to 20xGAU8 gun runs conducted by a pair of A10’s over a 30 minute period. In the above comparison of ABM rounds to GAU8 rounds this equates to $23,400 as opposed to $100,000 not to mention the hard flying on the A10 airframe.

Second to last: An MAS aircraft fitted with a secondary weapon system known as a Hard Kill Active Protection System creates an environment where it is extremely likely the Machete SM27S will defeat aerial threats launched against it (or the vehicles it might be escorting) such as ground launched MAN PADS, RPG’s or Air to Air missiles. The common denominator between all the guided threats mentioned above is that they are homing. They do not “jink” or maneuver for defense and hence become targetable to an Aimed Gun Weapon System (designed to kill missiles that DO “jink” and maneuver) supported by a Hard Kill Active Protection System.

See examples: Millennial Gun Weapon System:

Finally: An MAS capable aircraft such as the Machete also creates the possibility of MRSI (pronounced “Mercy”) missions, or “Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact” Missions.

See: Crusader Self Propelled Artillery:

One way of achieving this on the ground is by using a slightly different amount of propellant with each round fired. In the air, a preprogrammed maneuver can simulate the same effect with rounds containing the same amount of propellant.

The net effect is that the Machete SM27S executing a MRSI Mission, will deliver 30 x 30mm rounds delivered on target at the same time that have a similar capability of 1 x 155mm howitzer round. In other words the pilot can “dial up” or “dial down” the impact required as the combat situation dictates.


Who Wins? The SM27S is designed to serve the US soldier and the US sailor so that US Ground and/or US Sea Forces win the fight in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

How? The use of a Gun Weapon System combined with a highly maneuverable air frame and associated Electronic Warfare package is designed to create an approx. 2 Nautical Mile diameter Air/Sea/Land/Space/Cyber Dominance Bubble creating an environment for mission success.

Why? TEAM Stavatti has developed new lean business practices such as resilience, corporate leader-skills seemingly lacking in today’s environment as opposed to an over weighting in corporate manager-skills. In other words “Doing the right thing for the customer as opposed to doing things right” aka “it has always been done this way”. TEAM Stavatti plays “full out” to the committed outcome of providing the most capable platforms for the least amount of cost to our customer.

So, to make a long story short, The Machete might not be about wrapping an airframe around a GAU8 as the author suggested. The Machete might have a lot more thought and depth and decades of “how to blow stuff up with an aircraft” etc, experience (since Chuck (for example) did fly in World War 2 in B-25's, or Chris’ mentor, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, designed some pretty cool planes himself) applied to it’s fully engineered design. Nothing is “wrong” as we realize that the author might have been pressed for time in creating the story about this resilient and innovative little company called Stavatti. We here at TEAM-Stavatti hope you found this useful and perhaps a little inspiring.