|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Nov 01, 2016 10:32 AM EDT|
(Photo : SOCOM) Three versions of TALOS.
The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) seems bent on sticking to its original deadline of 2018 for the first operational prototype of the robotic TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) it's been championing since 2013.
Often referred to in the popular media as the "Iron Man-suit," TALOS will provide special operators such as Navy SEALs and U.S. Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) with enhanced mobility and protection technologies.
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SOCOM reports progress in developing and testing TALOS designed to increase strength and protection.
The first independently operational TALOS prototype is expected to be delivered by August 2018. This announcement was made in 2014 by U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven, former SOCOM Commander.
A champion of the armored combat suit, Adm. McRaven first publicly revealed TALOS in May 2013. His support for TALOS was taken up by his SOCOM successor, U.S. Army General Joseph Votel.
TALOS is a robotic exoskeleton SOCOM is building with the help of military contractors, universities and the tech industry. SOCOM specified that TALOS must be bulletproof and give a soldier superhuman strength. It must also be weaponized and have the ability to monitor the soldier's vital signs.
The TALOS armor will be based on a revolutionary form of protection called "liquid armor." U.S. researchers are using nanotechnology to strengthen kevlar armor with a "magnetorheological fluid" (or MR fluid) that changes into a solid in milliseconds after being struck by a bullet.
The design of the suit could also include an attachable frame that serves as the suit's exoskeleton. The U.S. Army said the exoskeleton promises to give the U.S. soldier superhuman strength. These powered limbs will amplify any motion made by a soldier and boost his speed and overall mobility.
In a TALOS project update in 2015, Gen. Votel said that if all goes well, SOCOM will have "the first of its kind, fully-integrated, independently-powered prototype by the end of August 2018."
"Advanced armor, cutting-edge power sources and integrated display systems are just a few of the results this project has already yielded," said Gen. Votel.
"This past year, SOCOM collaborated with industry to develop the military's first-ever, untethered, loadbearing, powered exoskeleton to augment human performance."
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