U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) warfighters someday could move into action wearing special suits that would offer greater protection and store physical data. Army Col. James Miller, commander of SOCOM’s Joint Acquisition Task Force, described the TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) to an audience last month at the Special Operations Industry Forces Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa.
Each suit would incorporate an exoskeleton, allowing “dynamic body movement and full-body load transfer,” Miller said. With it, wearers could bear much heavier loads than now possible. A lightweight rechargeable battery pack would provide power to electronic systems within the suit, while allowing them to move without fear that an enemy could detect it. Besides offering greater protection, the helmet would be able to provide the wearers with realistic images and sounds.
Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) capabilities would allow wearers to see through walls, quickly identify signals and signatures, and provide exponentially more data than any present uniform.
Even though the suit’s technology is in its infancy, Miller is confident that TALOS is being developed with an eye toward providing operators “what they need when they need it.”
The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) sponsored SOFIC.
Marines in the field will soon be able to communicate with each other more clearly and effectively. The Marine Corps Systems Command is introducing a narrowband satellite communication system that relies upon the same technology used in cell phones. It will rely upon a link to MUOS (Mobile User Objective System), a constellation of satellites. To date, thousands of MUOS-capable systems have been fielded. As MUOS has been upgraded during its existence, users’ ability to share information has improved as well. They will be able to communicate better beyond line of sight, and under rigorous combat conditions.