Boeing announced Tuesday that is has completed a series of flight tests of its A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter fitted with a foliage-penetrating radar called FORESTER. Overall, there were 20 flights between Aug. 31 and Oct. 8 at Ft. Stewart, Ga., that amassed 53 hours of flying time that validated the A160’s flight characteristics when carrying the UHF-band radar, which is encased in an underbelly pod. “The success of these test flights points to the operational readiness of this important capability,” said Vic Sweberg, Boeing’s director of unmanned airborne systems. DARPA has been sponsoring the development of FORESTER for the Army, but the Air Force Research Lab has also had a role in the radar’s maturation.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.