The U.S. military’s first “Iron Man” armor prototype will be ready for testing by June, according to the head of U.S. Special Operations Command.
“That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators,” Adm. William McRaven said during Tuesday’s annual Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict conference in Washington, D.C., according to Defense Tech.
The military will take delivery of three different prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) this summer and begin testing for a tentative deployment date of August 2018.
Prototype TALOS suits were commissioned last October and are the first step toward creating an advanced, fully armored suit with a powered exoskeleton and situational-awareness computer displays.
Eventually those advances could even include an MIT-developed liquid armor that hardens in seconds to deflect bullets – hence the comparison to the infamous Marvel superhero.
“With all the advance in modern technology, I know we can do better,” McRaven said, stressing the technology’s potential to give a “huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need.”
A “Monster Garage” event is in the works to entice outside thinkers to develop components for the project, with talk of the Pentagon providing prize money for useful results.
At present there are 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 national laboratories working to develop TALOS.
“We are already seeing astounding results of this collaboration,” McRaven said.