A prototype TALOS Iron Man Suit may soon be available for testing by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Base, Florida. The Tactical Light Operator Suit or TALOS is aimed at providing special operators (Green Berets, SEALs, etc.) with enhanced mobility and protection technologies. The TALOS Iron Man Suit will increase strength and effectiveness of the SOF personnel. It is hoped that the prototype will be available in 2018 for testing by special operators.
There are a few variations but most share some common features. The battery-powered exoskeleton will reduce strain on the body, conserve energy, provide better ballistic protection, and improve communication with other SOF Soldiers. Much of the technology already exists in various forms – they just need to be melded together into one complete package.
The Iron Man Suit is ideally suited for special operations soldiers engaged in high-risk operations such as entering and clearing buildings where terrorists may be harbored. The suit will provide additional protection needed – especially for the first man in the stack going through the door.
Tradeoffs. The capabilities of the suit will be limited by how much it weighs and the battery life of the suit. The heavier the suit the more energy required for it to function – which will decrease the battery life. Another limitation will be the flexibility of the suit – it must allow the operator to run, jump, bend, squat, and perform other physical feats required in combat operations.
Read more articles on this topic:
“U.S. Special Operations Command is Engineering a Next-Generation Exoskeleton to Keep Operators Alive”, by Kris Osborn, Scout.com, October 30, 2016.
“U.S. military is on its way to getting its Iron Man”, CNN Politics, April 11, 2016.
“TALOS (Uniform)“, Wikipedia. A detailed description is offered on the Iron Man Suit.
“Special Ops ‘Iron Man’ Suit on Track for 2018”, National Defense Magazine, May 2016.