The U.S. military is once again exploring the possibility of creating a powered suit of armor, known as the ‘Warrior Suit,’ to enhance the capabilities of future soldiers. However, the program is part of the Army’s long-term robotics strategy and is not expected to come to fruition until the 2040s.
- The concept of the ‘Warrior Suit’ is a heavily-armored infantryman suit, much like the ones depicted in the science fiction novel ‘Starship Troopers.’ It is meant to lighten the substantial combat load for infantry forces.
- The potential development of this suit was first publicly discussed by Ted Maciuba, the then-deputy director of robotics requirements for the Maneuver Capability Development Integration Directorate (MCDID) at the Army Futures Command.
- While there are currently no explicit requirements for the Warrior Suit, it remains part of the future for the Army’s Robotics Requirements Division.
- The U.S. military has been working on exoskeleton technology since the 1960s, but past attempts, like the ‘Iron Man’ suit developed by the U.S. Special Operations Command, have faced substantial obstacles and have been abandoned.
- In recent years, the Army’s focus on exoskeleton research has wavered, with the formal exoskeleton project titled ‘Exoskeleton: Technology for Man-Machine Interface’ being terminated in the fiscal year 2022. The military’s investment has shifted towards understanding the relationship between human operator and machine.