The first prototypes for the US military's Iron Man armor will be ready for testing by this summer, said the head of US Special Operations Command at a special conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, reported by The Verge online today.
Navy Adm. William McRaven stated that three unpowered prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, are currently being assembled, with an expected delivery by June. The suit will undergo an evaluation period and hopefully be field-ready by August 2018.
The simple explanation of the ‘suit’ is intended to protect soldiers and augment their awareness, while also improving strength and effectiveness in combat.
During the conference, McRaven emphasized the suit's potential to save lives. ‘That suit,’ he said, ‘if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators.’ The TALOS was commissioned last Oct. with the hope to allow the wearer to walk through a stream of bullets just as ‘Iron Man.’ Eventually the suit will encompass its on-board computer, health monitors, and MIT developed liquid armor that can harden in a matter of milliseconds.
Presently, 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories are working together to develop the armor. McRaven wants to up involvement to include mechanics and craftsmen on the project, and may seek the authority to approach the Pentagon to distribute prize money for interested experts not unlike the Marvel superhero.
TALOS, is the vision of Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, Socom’s commander. He challenged industry and defense representatives at a Socom conference last May to come up with the concepts and technologies to make the suit a reality. It is his dream coming to reality yesterday at the presentation.
Michael Fieldson, Socom’s TALOS project manager says the goal is to provide operators lighter, more efficient full-body ballistics protection and super-human strength. Antennas, sensors and computers embedded into the suit will increase the wearer’s situational awareness by providing user-friendly and real-time battlefield information. It will not be able to fly but it stretches the bounds of science and technology.
To view other articles related to National Security and defense see the list below in Author’s suggestions and view the video atop this article which describes the TALOS project and vision for it.