U.S. Military to Test Iron Man Suit in June, Seeks Your Help for Components

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U.S. Military to Test Iron Man Suit in June, Seeks Your Help for Components

The U.S. military may have an Iron Man suit prototype ready by summer and will hold a competition to encourage civilian craftsmen to develop suit components.

While he may not be Tony Stark, U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven said that the first prototypes of an Iron Man-like combat suit could be ready for testing this summer. Speaking at the 25th annual Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict conference on Tuesday, McRaven said that three unpowered prototypes are being assembled and expected to be delivered in June.

The head of U.S. Special Operations Command, McRaven believes that the suit "will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators." Some 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 national laboratories are working on the program, and the command seeks to solicit further aid by holding a "Monster Garage" event. Pending the Pentagon's go-ahead, the event will even reward expert mechanics and master craftsman who develop suit components with prize money.

The suit, known as the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit - or TALOS - will eventually provide its wearer with advanced armor, superior mobility and agility, enhanced situational awareness, built-in communications and computers, a personalized HUD, cooling or heating as needed, and even medical monitoring and basic first-aid care.

TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

Source: DefenseTech, via DVICE

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I hope the instructions really are just for "suit components". I'm turning the chestpiece into a frozen yoghurt machine.

Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

"U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven"

That sounds exactly like a name out of a Marvel comic. Please tell me this isn't another elaborate internet prank. I really want to see what these prototypes look like.

Loop Stricken:
Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

I was confused as well. But I believe they are seeking creative talent. How better to find the mad scientists of the world than through an open call for submissions?

I can see it already... a new reality show... holding auditions... American's Next Top Evil Genius!

Not to be a Debby downer here but...

Even if they get full on awesome-mode with an actual Iron Man suit, will they actually use them? I mean, there was a lot of issues with getting soldiers proper freaking body armor for a long while and I'm guessing that a Kevlar Jacket costs a lot less than RoboCop here. As Lucius Fox said in Batman Begins: "Bean counters didn't think a soldier's life was worth 300 grand"

It'd be great to have since anything that gives our boys a better chance to come home is a good thing but this just seems like one of those projects that looks awesome in prototype stage and then we never see it again...

We already have drones. This would just be wasting more tax payer money. Its like taking a step back in terms of technological advancement like writing texts all the time instead of actually using your phone to call someone.

tippy2k2:
Not to be a Debby downer here but...

Even if they get full on awesome-mode with an actual Iron Man suit, will they actually use them? I mean, there was a lot of issues with getting soldiers proper freaking body armor for a long while and I'm guessing that a Kevlar Jacket costs a lot less than RoboCop here.

It'd be great to have since anything that gives our boys a better chance to come home is a good thing but this just seems like one of those projects that looks awesome in prototype stage and then we never see it again...

If the project continues, it's not going to be open up to all soldiers. Like, a general new suit of body armour to distribute equally. It will cost too much.

No, what the military is doing is taking Iron-Man and Marvel Comics literally. They're not looking into making an army of Iron-Men. They're looking into making one person a Super-Soldier. And since they don't have Cap's serum...

Rhykker:
TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

And don't forget that killing civilians super bad terrorists with drone strikes is too impersonal.

Do they seriously need this or is it just propaganda to scare folks? They already spend billions on technology to murder people that is effective enough, but rather than using the money to improve hospitals, education or burning it for heat they're wasting it on a comic book dream. Also calling them 'warriors' is just sad.

Umm... so the first time I come across it in combat I will chuck an EMP near it and then it will be all sorts of vulnerable.

CriticalMiss:

Rhykker:
TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

And don't forget that killing civilians super bad terrorists with drone strikes is too impersonal.

Do they seriously need this or is it just propaganda to scare folks? They already spend billions on technology to murder people that is effective enough, but rather than using the money to improve hospitals, education or burning it for heat they're wasting it on a comic book dream. Also calling them 'warriors' is just sad.

Yeah, this suit is for Spec Ops, which is already a small subset of armed forces. These won't be mass produced.

Oh, come the fuck on ... did you already try blasting a dude with gamma rays? Or injecting him with stuff to turn him into cappin 'murica? Finish looking around the stars for Asgard? Think archery was a little too last century?

Can't invent a jetpack but a propulsion system built into a bulletproof suit isn't a problem, so much so civvies can work on it?

TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

'cos the apache, stealth bombers, Kevlar vests, grenade launchers with variable fuse and multi-explosive pay loads, long range ballistic missiles, corner shots, robots, drones and the other multi billion dollar advantage you have, just isn't enough?

They have a Toyota pick up truck, AK 47's and RPG's ... as for body armor, they have prayer!

Watch any number of "Future Weapons" tv show and you will quickly understand that the US has every kind of toy imaginable! For fucks sake, they have a rocket that will explode once to breach a wall, send a second explosive through the whole it just made and then clear the room with the second!

It's the second half of the video.


(okay, it's not the American's but I bet they have something of equal destruction)

FoolKiller:
Umm... so the first time I come across it in combat I will chuck an EMP near it and then it will be all sorts of vulnerable.

Oh if only Palestine and Afghanistan had EMP technology...

An open call for civilians to create components?

I look forward to the news that the first ever supersoldier suit is made out of lego and origami, and programmed from a virtual computer created in minecraft.

FoolKiller:
Umm... so the first time I come across it in combat I will chuck an EMP near it and then it will be all sorts of vulnerable.

Do portable EMP weapons exist? I'm pretty sure that they are still firmly in the range of sci-fi as far as using them for offensive weaponry.

The Gentleman:
"U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven"

That sounds exactly like a name out of a Marvel comic. Please tell me this isn't another elaborate internet prank. I really want to see what these prototypes look like.

Gotta respect a man called Dick McRaven.

He was born for greatness

Is anyone else amused by their choice of acronym? I wonder if anyone on the naming board is an Elder Scrolls fan.

Only if you promise to refer to your soldiers as "soldiers", you plods. Havin' none of that "Warfighter" business...

Then, we can talk. I've got a coffee module nearing completion.

CriticalMiss:

Rhykker:
TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

And don't forget that killing civilians super bad terrorists with drone strikes is too impersonal.

Do they seriously need this or is it just propaganda to scare folks? They already spend billions on technology to murder people that is effective enough, but rather than using the money to improve hospitals, education or burning it for heat they're wasting it on a comic book dream. Also calling them 'warriors' is just sad.

Imagine a squad of powerful Techno-Freedom-Warriors(tm) getting caught in an ambush by Iranians spraying them with a garden hose, causing the power armour to cease up rather embarassingly.

"huge comparative advantage"...like even more of an advantage than simply the fact that we spend more on "defense" than the next 13 top countries combined?

"over our enemies" ... What enemies might that be? No other country has attacked us since WW2. Since we already have the strongest military, and the above-mentioned budget, no other country is insane enough to attack us. Since WW2 the only attacks we've suffered have been at the hands of individuals or small groups and that's not the type of fight an Iron Man suit will win because it's a fight of ideals. Every enemy our military currently has is one that we've created ourselves.

Best way to beat your enemy is to not make enemies in the first place.

Kieve:
Is anyone else amused by their choice of acronym? I wonder if anyone on the naming board is an Elder Scrolls fan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talos

Greek mythology(and mythology in general) is the one part of geek culture they teach at school.
Seriously, just about the only thing I didn't know before I googled that was that Daedalus was involved in some versions.

FoolKiller:
Umm... so the first time I come across it in combat I will chuck an EMP near it and then it will be all sorts of vulnerable.

And how would you generate said EMP?
Nobody has figured out how to make EMPs practical for use, and magnetic shielding exists.
EMPs as a win button exist only in bad stories.

Loop Stricken:
Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

Yeah, that kind of made me do a spit take.

Kuala BangoDango:

"over our enemies" ... What enemies might that be?

You know how they say; Russia, China, N. Korea, Iraq, they're adversaries. The enemy is the Navy. Gotta one-up those folks!

But really, I doubt anyone would consider this cost-efficient. It's more of a show-off thing, at least at this point...

Loop Stricken:
Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

America has always left everything to private interests. Hell, America has been using mostly the same contractors since WWII. America barely makes anything by itself.

And now the contractors realized that "it ain't done yet" means "money tsunami! woo!"

There is a reason they say the F-35 and dragon armor are the biggest scams in military history.

So now America drops fat stacks of cash for a promise of a super weapon. No questions asked. Can't make it? Oh well, you tried. Keep the money.

America is too much in love with a free market to do anything by itself. And thats why we dedicate 40% of our budget to passing out free money to anyone who can make anything resembling a gun.

Apart from the novelty, what's the point..?
I'm as much as tech hungry geek as the next person, and I undoubtedly want to see some awesome suits and exoskeletons, but there's no way in hell they're going to be used.
Is humanity that desperate to wage war in new and exciting ways?

Mark my words, one day there'll be wars just for the sport of it and you can watch along on pay per view.

Rhykker:

CriticalMiss:

Rhykker:
TALOS has the potential to provide the U.S. with a "huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need," McRaven said.

And don't forget that killing civilians super bad terrorists with drone strikes is too impersonal.

Do they seriously need this or is it just propaganda to scare folks? They already spend billions on technology to murder people that is effective enough, but rather than using the money to improve hospitals, education or burning it for heat they're wasting it on a comic book dream. Also calling them 'warriors' is just sad.

Yeah, this suit is for Spec Ops, which is already a small subset of armed forces. These won't be mass produced.

Oh that's good then.

Because while I trust the soldiers of most NATO nations (Denmark, Britain, Norway) I wouldn't want to see what would happen if a normal US Army soldier got this kind of capability.

tippy2k2:
As Lucius Fox said in Batman Begins: "Bean counters didn't think a soldier's life was worth 300 grand"

Yeah, but we're Americans. We have a major hard-on for military dominance.

The real problem is that this isn't an Iron Man suit. It's a Goblin suit. Glider pending. hastagthetruth

Loop Stricken:
Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

To be clear, EVERYTHING in the military is made by civilians. That's one of the things that shocked me the most when I joined. The issue is if the military made their own equipment then no one would get rich (everything would be made "at cost") so they instead have corporations do it for 20 times the price that way the CEO's and such get rich and filter some of those profits back to the pockets of the politicians who hired them.

That's why it's such a broken system, much like the prison and medical systems. Anytime you make death and misery profitable then the people who profit will do whatever they can to increase death and misery.

I am really excited for this. My only hope is that one day they do battle with Japan's inevitable Gundams.

When I first saw the title, I assumed they would be crowdfunding through Kickstarter or something...

Any idea what the tier awards be for that?

OT: Seems Ok, it IS very silly. As others have said, the US already has plenty of other toys and tools for killing. How many options do they want here?? .-.

Yes. Let civilians contribute to creating something that will ultimately be used to oppress them and kill a whole bunch of innocent people overseas. Brilliant fuckin' plan. And it will work because people are naive and they don't care. All they hear is IRON MAN and they think it's cool.

omega 616:
Oh, come the fuck on ... did you already try blasting a dude with gamma rays?

Unfortunately, yes they basically did.
image
(1951 photo from one of the early nuclear blasts in the 6 year long "Operation Desert Rock" in Nevada)

and not just on soldiers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

PsychicTaco115:
OT: Seems Ok, it IS very silly. As others have said, the US already has plenty of other toys and tools for killing. How many options do they want here?? .-.

"We're a war-like people. We like war because we're good at it... ..And it's a good thing to because we're not very good at anything else anymore." - George Carlin

As for the original topic I've heard about this for years and while it does amusingly remind me of the Talos from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts (a 100 foot killer bronze statue) I see the project itself as just more bloat really. Even if it's successful it's not terribly practical for most situations.

The standing US military (and its budget) has been too large since the end of WW2 thanks to the cold war. With current weapons technology it makes more sense to have a smaller, more intensely trained force.

But now that huge size coupled with regret over the shameful mistreatment of our veterans after they came home from Vietnam has made "warrior worship" a big part of our culture. I doubt many people would react well to any attempts to shrink the force, especially since a military career is one of the most stable you can have in the US and can be entered right out of high school.
So the bloat goes on. But hey at least this is actually research into more efficient ways to protect and aid rather than kill.

Eh, publicity stunt, it would seem like.

Perhaps this will be viable one day, but not just yet.

So they name their invincible robo-suit after the man who became a god.

That seems far too appropriate.

Would probably be good on advanced recon and SEAL-type special forces.. Would be a long, long time before this was available to more standard troops.

Would probably not only increase lives save on the US/Allied side, but elite solders with something like this could probably pull off stuff that would normally require larger numbers of soldiers and/or firepower so it could even conceivably save enemy lives by being more surgical than standard assaults. You'd think a small group of of these guys could better take out leaders, launch sites, emplacements, and stuff like that more easily.

And in time, as with a great number of other things that were originally designed for the military, this should help the civilian authorities. Variants of these could be utilized by Firemen, Policemen, and Emergency rescue personnel. Maybe even some construction and mining applications.

There are a lot of benefits that can come from things like this than just what everyone is assuming. Not the mention the advances in the various other technologies that are being developed for this could apply to other things just as well as the initial development.

Sounds more like the HEV from half-life than the Iron Man suit.
But I doubt it'll really get off the ground. Something like this would be too expensive, because you'd probably need to tailor some of the parts to an individual, especially if they want it to do things like be able to apply basic first aid.

Now we need an arch nemesis! COme on intergalactic overlords! Hammy James Bond villains!

Rhykker:

Loop Stricken:
Hang on...

But...

... with the fuck-tonnes of money the US Military has spent on it, they're asking civilians to make their shit for them?!

I was confused as well. But I believe they are seeking creative talent. How better to find the mad scientists of the world than through an open call for submissions?

I can see it already... a new reality show... holding auditions... American's Next Top Evil Genius!

Now that is a reality show i would watch, although you might be short on people willing to be judges. How many people are going to volunteer to reject contenstants when those same contestants come wielding death-rays?

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