by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics




by The La Plata y Patagonia of Nevbrejnovitz. . 21 reads.

FMA SAIA 98 Fighter


Class Information

Name: FMA SAIA 98 (Nevbrejnovitz/Pontianus)
- Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) (Nevbrejnovitz)
- Leonardo (Pontianus)
Designed by: CISRAC & Leonardo
Operators: N/A
Planned: N/A
Completed: 1
Cancelled: 0
Active: 0

General Characteristics

Type: Air Superiority Fighter (with Stealth capabilities)/Multirole
First Commissioned: 1998
Crew: 1
Length: 15.53 m.
Height: 3.96 m.
Wing span: 10.95 m.
Wing area: 30 m˛.
Wheelbase: 6.60 m.
Empty weight: 7,800 kg.
Max take-off weight: 14,500 kg.
Max wing loading: 266.67 kg/m˛.
Max speed: Mach 2.25.
Max climb rate: 15,000 m/min.
Ceiling: 15,000 m.
Range: Ferry: 3380 km. Combat: 550 km.
Engine: 2x FM98 afterburner turbofan (50kN dry, 85 kN with afterburners / each)
1 x 27mm revolver cannon (150 rounds)
11 hardpoints for a total of 5.000 kg :
4 under the fuselage, 2 under each wing, 2 wingtip and 1 central harpoint.

RADINVAP-SAIA98 air-to-air radar capable to detect 5 m2 targets in a range of 90 km,
6-target multiple pursuit with IFF (Air-to-air)
SARINVAP-SAIA98 3D air-to-surface radar capable to receive the earth shape (Air-to-ground)
Digital flight control system, multi-function nav/attack system and secure communications.

The SAIA 98 is a multirole/air superiority fighter with stealth caracteristics, such as a small radar-cross section and the use of composite materials making the aircraft lighter and less detectable. It was developped in the 1980's as the third phase of the ACA (Avión Caza Argentino) project by the junta. In 1992, with the creation of CISRA by the new Justicialist government, the program was given a second chance and funds were open again. The project needd foreign support to make it more legitimate and better in design. An international bid was made and Italy (Pontianus) agreed to support the project and participate in it as a partner. This design was needed to give Argentina, and after La Plata, the means of its own air defense. Italy joined because it wanted a cheaper alternative to the Eurofighter and Tornado projects that would cost alot more by unit, thus reducing their numbers. Being an unusual venture from a second-world country, the project is expected to cost less than other fourth generation fighters, with prices ranging between 12-18M$ per units. This aircraft is designed as a multirole aircraft, but can also be launched from carriers with a CATOBAR design (Catapult) or with STOBAR designs if they are long enough. The high thrust/weight ratio allows such operation.


Although it was desirable to achieve a combination of the advantages that a heavily loaded delta wing with low weight offers; the trans-sonic/subsonic turn rate, longitudinal stability and short field characteristics desired were impossible to combine into a single wing design.

The opposing solution of commitment for the pattern, was the continuation of the border of attack of the wings that generated a vortex of high energy and it improved the aerodynamic yield notably in big angles of incidence. Another characteristic of the design is the artificial longitudinal stability that allows equilibrating the airplane by means of the application of positive forces on the line planes.

This way a direct wing was configured with big arrow angles, continuations in the union wing-fuselage and a double derives located before the stabilizers that it keeps certain likeness to the F/A-18C Hornet.

Engines are two afterburner turbofans of 50kN of thrust. Maximum speed is around Mach 2.2. Empty weight is 7.800 kg. This relatively low value is is achieved by means of the use of compound materials. In the proposal for this airplane suggested the use in the wing of 65% Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), 20% aluminium and the rest in several materials as the titanium, the front fuselage would have 60% of CFRP, the central 18% and the bottom 10%, being completed with other materials employees in the wing, and the stabilizers would have 55% of CFRP, while the fin would take 70%, the same materials would be used for the intake ramps and the landing gear.


Currently, La Plata and Italy are testing the FMA SAIA 98 multirole fighter. No active unit as of now (1996)

Visual Notes

This plane can be nimble in low range combat, but can also be fitted with external fuel reserves and drop-bombs, making it look alot more cluttered. This modular design makes it a multirole fighter as it can do air-sol duties as well as air-air duties.