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TAMPA, Florida — In the 2008 movie “Iron Man,” the main character becomes a superhero after building a suit of armor with an exoskeleton that gives him incredible strength.
Today, elite U.S. 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.