The military’s long rumored “Iron Man” is finally seen in use during this promo video from Revision, one of the companies involved in manufacturing the system.
Known as TALOS, the armored exoskeleton is designed to give special operations soldiers superhuman strength and stamina while increasing survivability. A bevy of sensors inside the suit monitor vitals and provide additional cooling, allowing for higher performance levels over extended durations.
A ballistic helmet featuring a heads up display (HUD) and the ability to integrate data from multiple sources completes the system, providing each user access to battlefield intelligence from multiple sources.
According to Wikipedia,
TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) is the name given to a robotic exoskeleton that the U.S. Army intends to design with the help of universities, laboratories, and the technology industry. The brief for TALOS states that it must be bulletproof, weaponized, have the ability to monitor vitals and give the wearer superhuman strength and perception. The suit would comprise layers of smart material and sensors. The suit may not be intended for an entire squad, but for a lead operator who will breech a door first, to protect them as they are the most vulnerable team operator in that situation.
TALOS was first presented by Admiral Bill McRaven, top officer of the Special Ops at a conference on May 2013. He said that the protective suit was inspired by one of his troops in Afghanistan.
The Army says it expects “1st gen capability” inside a year. Though realistically, it might be longer than that. Three unpowered prototype suits were to be assembled and delivered in June 2014. Development of the suit is a collaborative effort between 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories. They are working together to incorporate features including a powered exoskeleton, full-body armor, and situational-awareness displays. SOCOM plans to hold a “monster garage” event to encourage mechanics and craftsmen to create components for the suit. They may seek permission from the Pentagon to distribute prize money to generate interest. Admiral McRaven expects a system to be fielded by August 2018.
Special Operations Command per Lieutenant Commander Li Cohen have started and completed the selection process using prototypes that competed for the contract. Admiral William McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, says in the video, “I am very committed to this because I’d like that last operator that we lost to be the last one that we ever lose, in this fight or in the fight of the future.” According to a video produced by the command, the program is on track to have a “first-generation capability” by summer 2014.