For years, U.S. Special Operations Command has been working on a suit for special operators that would essentially provide power and resiliency beyond normal human capability and it appears the project is one year away from a major milestone.
“We knew going into this that it was going to be a real challenge,” Jim Smith, USSOCOM’s acquisition chief told an audience at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) May 22. “You put a world-class athlete into a powered exoskeleton, that is going to be a difficult challenge and we are realizing a lot of those challenges.”
But USSOCOM is making progress and Smith added, “right around this time next year, we will put an operator into a powered exoskeleton and lead the Department of Defense on learning what that really means for operations and what is in the art of the possible.”
The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, as USSOCOM formally calls it, is a complex system comprised of an intricate arrangement of state-of-the-art technologies that doesn’t look much different from the Iron Man suit found in comic books and movies.