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  • A160T Flies Forester in Belize
    Posted by Graham Warwick 2:12 PM on Aug 09, 2010

    Boeing's A160T Hummingbird unmanned helicopter has been photographed flying out of Cayo in Belize, close to the border with Guatemala. The aircraft is one of two deployed to Latin America by US Special Operations Command to test the DARPA-developed Forester foliage-penetration radar in counter-narcotics operations.

    blog post photo
    File photo: Boeing

    Local reports citing a press release from the US Embassy in Belize say the Central American country invited the US to test the Forester-equipped A160Ts in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of western Belize. This area, about 25 miles from the Guatemalan border, includes a large nature reserve established to protect the native pine forest.

    Aviation Week revealed Belize as "Country 1" in SOCOM's Latin American deployment plans back in March. Country 2 has not yet been identified. The Forester was flight tested on the A160T in Fort Stewart, Georgia in late 2009. Previously the radar was tested on an EH-60 Black Hawk.

    Manufactured by SRC, formerly Syracuse Research, Forester is a UHF-band synthetic-aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor designed to detect people and vehicles moving under dense tree cover. To detect slow-moving individuals on foot, the radar has to remain stationary, making the unmanned A160T a better platform than a manned helicopter.

    Tags: ar99, unmanned, DARPA, SOCOM

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