Meet TALOS, the U.S. Military’s Real Life ‘Iron Man’
Marvel Studios's 'Iron Man 3'.
Heads up, Tony Stark: the United States military may be swiping some of your ideas.
No one is saying if U.S. Special Operations Command Chief Adm. William McRaven is a fan of the "Iron Man" franchise, but he does want to create a special armored exoskeleton that military personnel can wear in the field to make themselves invincible against enemy fire. Sounds somewhat Iron Man-esque, wouldn't you say?
During a meeting last month at Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, McRaven talked with defense industry representatives about his ideas for what's being called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, a system of highly advanced body armor that can do everything from warding off explosions to sealing up wounds and allowing soldiers to see in the dark. Check out the combat simulation below and tell us it doesn't remind you of a certain billionaire playboy's work outfit.
The real difference here, of course, is that McRaven's not talking about movies. "I'm very committed to this, I'd like that last operator that we lost to be the last operator we lose in this fight or the fight of the future, and I think we can get there," McRaven said.
"[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that – a whole bunch of stuff," said Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, a science adviser with SOCOM.
The heart of TALOS would be a type of fluid body armor designed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The material can change from liquid to solid in a millisecond when exposed to the proper electrical current, and can provide lightweight but effective protection against ballistic weapons.
As if that's not enough, the proposed TALOS would also be climate controlled to protect against extreme heat and cold. TALOS would also incorporate night vision technology, include an oxygen supply, have advanced communication system that would send out an alert if the soldier is wounded in the field, and even spray special foam into wounds that would stop bleeding before a medical team arrives. Can J.A.R.I.S. do that?