Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)
- U.S. Special Forces Command has given the go-ahead for the creation
- Suit is called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)
- It would have an in-built computer and smart materials fitted with sensors
- Predicted to be ready in a 'two-to-three-year time frame'
An Iron Man-style suit may soon be created to give US army troops a 'superhuman strength' on the battlefield.
U.S. Special Forces Command, Adm. William McRaven has given the go-ahead for the creation of a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS).
He is calling on the technology industry, government labs and academia to help build what is being dubbed as the Iron Man suit in reference to the Marvel Comics character Tony Stark, an engineer who builds a rocket-powered suit and becomes a superhero.
The metal suit would be designed to enable soldiers to carry large loads - relying on tiny motors, the exoskeleton would enable a soldier to run and jump without strain.
The US Army said it would also have a wearable computer similar to Google Glass, reported the BBC.
The exoskeleton would be able to continuously download and display live video feeds from overhead drones.
The suit has drawn comparisons Iron Man, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics
It would have layers of smart materials fitted with sensors and which would transmit the wearer's vital signs back to headquarters.
The LA Times reports that in theory it could even staunch minor wounds with inflatable tourniquets as well have a built-in oxygen supply in case of poison gas and a cooling system.
Other desired specifications are smart materials fitted with sensors to monitor body temperature, heart rate and hydration levels.
Many of the technologies that could be incorporated into McRaven’s idea of an Iron Man suit already exist.
'But they still exist separately. So they are taking them all and they are putting them together,' said former Navy SEAL Chris Heben to CNN.
Heben said if TALOS is completed with the desired specifications it will 'take a group of guys that are extremely high functioning on the battlefield and make them completely unstoppable.'
An MIT team is currently developing liquid body armour - made from fluids that transform into a solid when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied.
'It sounds exactly like Iron Man,' MIT professor Gareth McKinley told US news site NPR.
'The other kind of things that you see in the movies... would be the kind of external suit that Sigourney Weaver wears in Aliens, where it's a large robot that amplifies the motions and lifting capability of a human.'
Jim Geurts, who buys equipment for the Special Operations Command said: 'The hope is that we would have some working full-up prototypes in the two- to three-year time frame.'
Contracts have not yet been signed, and the Pentagon has not ventured to make a cost estimate.
In May the U.S. Navy decided to order sailors new shipboard coveralls after discovering the flammability of the garment last year.
The new version, costing $60-$75 will be made of 100 percent cotton with a fire-resistant coating and are expected to be introduced next month.