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American war-fighters have long enjoyed a technological preponderance over their opponents. They are equipped with the best high-tech gear in the world, such as night vision goggles (NVGs) and stealth Blackhawk helicopters.
According to the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), this summer war fighters might be getting another technological advantage, in a project that has the potential to overshadow all previous technological enhancements, according to thenewsrep.com.
The project is called TALOS, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. The TALOS program isn’t covert or new. It was initiated by Admiral William Mcraven, who oversaw the mission that killed BIn Laden and who later became the commander of SOCOM, which announced back 2011 the development and objectives of TALOS.
The command envisions a protective suit that will be flexible, robust, and able to provide 360-degree situational awareness to the operators. This would be achieved by multiple sensors that would streamline data and footage from drones, surveillance aircraft, and other monitoring systems.
Moreover, the suit will be designed to provide energy independence to special operators, for example, by utilizing their movement to recharge the multiple batteries they have to carry to service their NVGs, radios, etc. Another aspect of TALOS would be life support sensors that would monitor the physical condition of the operator.
SOCOM expects the initial testing phase to begin sometime during the summer, but full operational use is years away. However, some systems that are being developed to be part of TALOS could find their way to the front lines much more quickly. Last year, James Smith, the acquisition executive at SOCOM, said during an interview at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Special Operations International Conference, that “in parallel and in combination with that, we’ve learned a lot through that Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit effort, about providing greater situational awareness to the individual operator and about providing greater lethality.”
SOCOM states that “People – not equipment – make the critical difference. The right people, highly trained and working as a team, will accomplish the mission with the equipment available. On the other hand, the best equipment in the world cannot compensate for a lack of the right people.”