futuristic uniform

The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) is planning to submit a proposal for the Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) tactical assault light operator suit (TALOS) development programme.

Issued on 15 May, the TALOS’s request for information (RFI) seeks technology demonstration submissions from research and development organisations, private industry, individuals, government labs and academia in support of the command-directed requirement.

RDECOM science advisor assigned to SOCOM lieutenant colonel Karl Borjes said the proposal brings together a comprehensive family of systems, including an exoskeleton with innovative armour, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, into a combat armour suit.

"It’s advanced armour," Borjes said. "It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here too."

Scheduled to be equipped with wide-area networking and onboard computers, TALOS is an advanced infantry uniform, designed to provide troops with superhuman strength with greater ballistic protection, and enhanced situational awareness in the battlefield.

"It’s advanced armour. It’s communications, antennas, cognitive performance, sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here."

The uniform will also feature a physiological subsystem embedded with sensors for effective monitoring of core body and skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels.

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All participants, including RDECOM are set to submit a white paper summary of the way TALOS can be constructed using existing and emerging technologies by today (31 May).

The selected participants will demonstrate their respective technologies at SOCOM demonstrations, which are scheduled to be conducted at or near MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, US, from 8-10 July.

The primary goal of the demonstration is to identify technologies that can easily be integrated to form an initial capability within a year, while its secondary goal includes determination of the feasibility of fielding objective capabilities within three years.

Image: USSOCOM’s futuristic uniform will feature new helmet technologies, sensors, communication devices, hearing protection amongst others. Photo: courtesy of Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Defence Technology