SOCOM Lists Iron Man Suit Collaborators

Raytheon ExoskeletonThe U.S. military listed off the companies its working with thus far to develop a tactical suit for special operators that is often compared to the suit worn in the Hollywood film Iron Man.

Many of the companies listed on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) are the usual defense regulars like Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. There a few other athletic wear companies like Nike and Under Armour. And then there are a few outliers that have left some in the industry scratching their heads like National Public Radio and Red Bull Air Force.

Military leaders to include Adm. William McRaven, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, have touted the suit as a next generation capability that will change how Special Forces operate. Leaders like McRaven want it to provide troops super human strength, the ability to see through walls and a bulletproof skin, among other capabilities.

“That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators,” McRaven said in February.

Work has started on the suit. SOCOM officials hope to have prototypes by this June and start outfitting special operators by 2018.

Thus far, about 56 defense companies, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 national laboratories are working on the program. Until the release of SOCOM’s new website dedicated to the program. Those companies haven’t been listed. Below is a list of those companies:

  • Adidas

  • ADS

  • AEgis Technologies

  • Agis

  • Allen Vanguard

  • Altamira

  • Anderson Consulting

  • Anthro Tronix

  • Avegant

  • Azure Summit Technologies

  • B-temia

  • Blackbird Technologies

  • Boeing

  • CMI

  • CWS

  • David Clark

  • Deep Springs Technology

  • Design Interactive

  • Draper Laboratory

  • Ekso Bionics

  • EMC2

  • Global Satellite Engineering

  • Helios Design Labs

  • Honeywell

  • Invisio

  • IST

  • Legacy Effects

  • Linear Labs

  • Lockheed Martin

  • Mawashi

  • Miltech

  • National Public Radio (NPR)

  • Nike

  • Oceanic Safety Systems

  • Physical Operator Corporation

  • Protonex

  • Raytheon

  • Red Bull Air Force

  • Revision

  • RINI Technologies

  • Robotics Technology Consortium

  • Rockwell Collins

  • Sage Cheshire

  • Select Engineering Services (SES)

  • Sierra Nevada Corp.

  • Tampa Energy Solutions

  • Tandel Systems

  • Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.

  • Thales

  • Transformair

  • Under Armor

  • Vodik Labs

  • Warwick Mills

  • Wilcox

  • Wyle

18 Comments on "SOCOM Lists Iron Man Suit Collaborators"

  1. Protonex? Hmmm! Interesting! If you are going to do this you will need a lot of power – I imagine they are probably one of the best at developing this, especially if it is a methanol fuel cell!

  2. Rogue Male | April 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm |

    I can't wait to hear how many hours of maintenance and repair this stuff requires for every operational hour in the field. How many techs will be required per x number of infantrymen. Etc.

  3. Military force reductions to pre WW2 levels. No money for training. Don't expect this in your lifetime.

  4. Brian B. Mulholland | April 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm |

    The complete suit may take awhile. I'd bet that some subsystems, in particular the powered exoskeleton, have seen some testing in-theater. If you could land well away from a target, beyond the distances over which a helicopter could be heard, and then run at night with a standard pack for 20KM, you'd have a considerable advantage right there. We've all seen Boston Robotics' mechanical critters running around for some time. It might not be bulletproofed (that sounds heavy, which multiplies the power required) and it may not see through walls (penetrating radar, I guess) but powered exoskeletons may be seeing some use now. Let's raise a glass to the memory of Robert A. Heinlein and "Starship Troopers."

  5. Dead or alive, you're coming with me.

  6. Let me get this straight- we're reducing the number of rounds soldiers will be able to fire in training, but we're wasting money on this crap? Tell me they're making this up. Please. Don't these companies accrue development money even if this crap is never adopted? Hmmm… Looks like development is their real scam… Uh, contribution to our war effort.

  7. Can they out run a Toyota pickup?

  8. A total waste of time and taxpayer dollars. If we are going to send robots out to fight a war, why have a war to begin with?

  9. conradswims | April 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm |

    Our enemy will die laughing at us.

  10. Wow, waste on an EPIC scale…….this is one of the things you are trading for A-10 CAS.This is "chicks in Infantry" stupid, just squared or cubed.

  11. This is so stupid. If they make this why even have a war we will be killing people because our enemies will not have this technology it would just be murder.

  12. The only way that this will work in combat, is that our enemy will be dieing of laughter.

  13. I just want to know what NPR brings to this team.

  14. after all the robotics and mechanical companies that they just purchased, I am shocked that Google hasn't thrown their hat in the ring, which they could then integrate with their Google Glass and really make the future soldier what it was intended to be (as opposed to the fiasco it became)

  15. Mellissalynn | April 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm |

    Wow. I wonder if Marvel is gonna sue? Another case of science fiction leading science…personally, I hope they get this to work. Just remember the words of another Marvel superhero: "With great power comes great responsibility." The whole reason (in the comics) that the military was never given this tech was the potential for abuse inherent in it….

  16. Back in the day (I retired in 2001) my equipment; including weapons, ammunition, body armor, mission essential equipment, snivel gear, food and water amounted to ~170 Lbs. distributed in my ruck, LBV and body armor. The weight we carried limited our mobility, challenged our endurance and, over time, exacted a toll on our bodies. Thus, I can understand why SOCOM would be interested in this technology. I believe the key limiting factor will be the power source, which would need to support operations over extended periods of time without reducing the amount of gear carried. I hope they are successful.

  17. Two questions that you should consider;
    What's their max load
    Can can the suit follow a lead soldier automatically, allowing the soldier in the suit to sleep?

  18. But we can't find a decent replacement for the POS M4 carbine or the craptastic 5.56mm round …… yet another waste of money in the time of smaller budgets.

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