Army Expects Operational “Iron Man” Suit by Next Summer

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) anticipates having an operational prototype of the “Iron Man” suit in less than two years, Kit Up reported.

James Geurts, a senior executive at U.S. SOCOM, discussed progress on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), high-tech body armor, during the National Defense Industrial Association’s Annual Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium. The U.S. Special Operations Command, which originally challenged the defense industry to build the TALOS in 2013, envisioned a protective wearable with embedded sensors capable of monitoring and controlling core body temperature, heart rate, hydration level, and other vitals.

“Smart-soldier” technologies have been gaining traction in the U.S. military. For example, Nett Warrior allows unit leaders to track their subordinates’ locations and get a bird’s-eye view of the tactical environment, using a smartphone set-up. To develop the technology, which debuted in 2006, the Army awarded over $500 million in defense industry contracts.

Currently, the development of TALOS faces challenges, but Geurts predicts the effort will produce “spin-off” technologies that will empower operators with life-saving information and communication capabilities.

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