The United States possesses the most powerful and advanced military the world has ever known, and it is constantly pushing the technological boundaries in order to stay on top.
But you know that already, because as Americans we often take every opportunity to shove that in anyone’s face who will listen. And why the hell not? The US Military is responsible for some of the most incredible technological breakthroughs in modern history, if that’s not something to be proud of then I don’t know what is.
Today I came across a video by Revision Military, a company working with DARPA on their TALOS program, and in it they’re debuting an exoskeleton the likes of which we’ve only previously seen in video games. This Revision Exoskeleton appears to be some real-life amalgam of the exoskeleton in the newest ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Halo’. And while it might not be completely practical if deployed in the field today, that’s not really the point. The point is to continuously push the boundaries of what science is capable of, and it’s done just that:
The major issues raised by this exoskeleton are that a) the added armor plates are bulky/heavy, and soldiers would likely ditch them in the field in favor of increased mobility b) the exoskeleton requires a power source that a soldier must be able to carry in the field, and therefore the battery pack would either be extremely heavy and/or only last for a very short period of time, and c) the helmet is bulky, impractical and would likely be ditched in favor of something much tinier.
Which are all very legitimate gripes, but again, that’s not the point. The point is that we keep pushing the boundaries of what our military technology is capable of producing. This exoskeleton is only a jumping off point for the next wave of advancements.
But in terms of the actual concerns listed above, Reddit user Dragon029 has responses to each of the issues raised:
I agree that it’s extra weight and volume; the armour presented in this video isn’t what DARPA is asking for mind you.
Batteries are probably hip worn or something like that; there’s already exoskeleton systems like Lockheed’s HULC which covers the legs and provides around 8 hours of marching. There’s some significant battery advances taking place in labs at the moment too that have the potential to make the batteries last days without charging.
The helmet would presumably have air conditioning systems as part of the respirator.
Overall, the idea for TALOS is to be something worn during assaults on heavily fortified positions; the idea being that soldiers will be equipped with something like a liquid armour, effective against repeated 7.62mm rounds, while providing enhanced native strength and perception.
If you thought the Revision Military concept is impractical; wait until you see the official DARPA concept video…
Overall, the other part of this program is to deliver high-end kit to selected special forces, but then also have it deliver a trickle-down effect. Future revisions of a liquid armour could become the primary ballistic protection for soldiers, or the battery / comms tech could become standard when manufacturing becomes cheaper, or the exoskeleton gear could be made even more ruggedised and used for long patrols, etc.
Just look at this thing in action and tell me it’s not worth the $$$$ spent on research simply for the purposes of scaring the shit out of our enemies?
Our enemies would scamper in fear at the sight of this ‘Universal Soldier’…and for those of you too young to get that reference, it’s once of the greatest Jean-Claude Van Damme movies ever made: