There has been quite a buzz generated on both sides of the Atlantic about TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit). MONCh attended part of a presentation to delegates which included a project update by Col. James Miller, Commander of Joint Acquisition Task Force at US SOCOM. While the acquisition leader managed expectations for delegates, the session hopefully encouraged business development teams and their technology counterparts, to remain focused on developing their “building blocks” and provide this end product.
No doubt about it, special operators in time will wear combat uniforms that would perform a myriad of tasks. Though TALOS is years away from entering the inventory as a funded programme of record, USSOCOM believes it one day will be a key component and critical tool to ensure that US warfighters can decisively win on the battlefield. But as Col. Miller carefully spelled out, TALOS will advance as disparate technologies mature and are integrated.
In one instance, TALOS would contain a base suit to keep operators warm or cool, and provide vital data to medical personnel when the wearers were wounded or injured. Before such a base layer would become available, developers would have to ensure that it could contain the necessary data-gathering equipment – which would have to be non-intrusive to operators who become injured or wounded.
The suit’s exoskeleton would allow “dynamic body movement and full-body load transfer,” while permitting the wearer to bear unprecedented loads. Its development depends upon building a structure that would incorporate necessary hardware and software, being strong enough to operate under rigorous combat conditions, and being integration with TALOS’ other systems.
And there’s more. A to-be-determined form of battery pack that is rechargeable, efficient, lightweight, reliable and redundant would power the suit. It would have to allow operators to move without leaving a detectable signature and unencumbered by factors such as vibration. Its armor package would maximise protection without hindering the operator’s ability to move.