I’m a Tony Stark fan. I know Iron Man may have been a small-time comic (some call it a ‘second tier’ comic) that’s been given the real Hollywood treatment by Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Feige, and the rest of Marvel Studios.
But it’s obviously struck a nerve with the U.S. military. They’re now announcing that new high-tech ‘suits’ are being tested for U.S. Special Operations Forces. Here’s the skinny from a new press release (I’ve trashed the gibberish part and just used the relevant bits):
Michael Fieldson , the civilian project manager for the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit at McDill Air Force Base, looks at sketches of the body armor exoskeleton during the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa. (AP Photo / Tamara Lush)
Today, elite US special operations forces may be a few short years away from donning a similar suit, one that can monitor the user’s vital signs, give him real-time battlefield information and be bulletproof from head to toe. The suit might eventually have other features unheard of only a few years ago, including an exoskeleton made of liquid armor, smart fabrics that could help stop hemorrhaging, enhanced sensory capabilities and Google Glass-like visuals.
The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) project is coordinated through the Special Operations Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Prototypes are expected to be shown to military commanders in June, with hopes that the suit will be given to high-risk units in 2018.
While the project sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, its mission is simple, said James Geurts, the Deputy for Acquisition of the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill.
“We’ve lost a lot of guys to gunshot wounds and explosions,” he said. “If there’s anything I can do to more rapidly field technology, give better protection, better capability, any progress, I think we’ve done well.”
Will the new suits evolve into something even more Stark-y? Potentially. Let’s hope they’re used for good and don’t fall into the hands of Hydra. They’re the worst.