The FMA SAIAL 90 (Sistema de Armas Integrado America Latina de la decada del 90) is an air superiority aircraft designed and planned by the FMA (Fabrica Militar de Aviones) with collaboration of British Aerospace in the mid-1980s, which was the last stage of ACL project, a project started by the government for an Latin American fighter aircraft (Avion Caza Latinoamericano).
The three stages of the project were:
- The IA 63 Pampa, a trainer attack aircraft, which was already been built. The Vought Pampa 2000 version was entered into the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System in the 1990s.
- The IA 67 Cordoba, a light attack bomber that had never been built. And finally,
- The SAIAL 90, an air superiority aircraft with minimum radar cross section, an stealth aircraft.
In military service, the FMA SAIAL 90 is designated the F-90 Halcon, and exists in three versions for the Fuerza Aerea de los Estados Confederados, the F-90A Halcon single-seater, the F-90B Halcon twin seater, and the EF-90B Halcon specialised SEAD aircraft.
The first F-90 was rolled out in 1999, and flew for the first time in 2001. Initial Operational Capability was achieved in September 2006.
The design parameters of the airplane were
- Sustained turn speed of Mach 0.9 at 6000m of height
- Great acceleration between Mach 0.9 at 1.5 to 9000 m
- High deceleration, independent of the relative speed
- Reasonable combat raduis with internal fuel
- Minimum radar and IR signatures
Fixed armament consists of a Mauser BK-27. The aircraft can carry two IR AAM's on the wing tips, and four AIM-120,or Condor BVRAAM semi-recessed under the fuselage. Six underwing, and one centreline pylons carry extra air-to-air weapons, air-to-surface weapons and other stores up to a total weight of 5000kg.
Low wing loading, light weight, and relatively powerful engines (Garrett TFE1042-70) give the aircraft exceptional handling, and it is more than a match for a MiG-29, Flanker, F-16, or F/A-18.
The aircraft's general configuration is highly reminiscent of the F/A-18, however FMA's designers say this is because it is the only reasonable configuration for the achievement of good performance at high angles of attack.
The aircraft has modern avionics, and its radar can detect targets at 150km. The F-90 has the classic cockpit of a 1980's Western fighter, with three MFD's, and Upfront Control Panel, HOTAS, and a wide-angle HUD.
A naval version is proposed as an F/A-18 replacement for the Armada.
- Fuerza Aerea de los Estados Confederados (42 in service, 210 in total ordered)
- Mexican Air Force (25)
- Armada de los Estados Confederados (100 ordered to replace the F/A-18 and Super Etendard)
|Wing Span||10.95 m|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight||14,500 kg|
|Propulsion||2 Garrett TFE1042-70 Afterburning Turbofans|
|Crew||1 (1 Instructor, 1 Trainee in F-90B, 1 Pilot, 1 Electronic Warfare Officer in EF-90B)|
|Range||1825 Nautical Miles|
|Unit cost||LAP$10.6 million|
|General: Confederate States of Latin America, Economy of the ECAL, Justice and Law in the ECAL, President Michelle Bachelet, Presidency|
|Political: Partido Republicano Constitucional, Partido Laborista Socialista, Partido de la Democracia Cristiana|
|Military: Fuerzas Armadas, Armada, Ejercito, Fuerza Aerea, Infanteria de Marina, Guardia Nacional|
|Military Aircraft: FMA SAIAL 90, A-4AL Fightinghawk|
|Armoured Vehicles: TLAM Medium Tank, TLAP Main Battle Tank|
|Warships: Ship Profiles, Ardiente and Valeroso class destoyers|