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Wanted: special-ops battle suit with cooling, embedded computers, radios, and sensors

September 7, 2013
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Source: Mil Aerospace

U.S. military researchers are asking industry for ideas on a futuristic uniform for Special Operations warfighters that involves agile air-conditioned armor with embedded computers, sensors, communications radios and antennas, signal processors, wearable displays, and health-monitoring systems.

Officials of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., issued a broad agency announcement (BAAST-13-TALOS) on Wednesday for technologies for a tactical assault light operator suit (TALOS) for Special Operations forces.

The goal is to integrate technologies from research projects focused on far-ridgeline capabilities into a battle suit to protect future Special Operations warfighters. Key issues involve technology tradeoffs between size, weight, protection, power, mobility, cost, and systems integration.

Among the technologies Special Operations Command officials are interested in most are advanced armor to protect warfighters from bullets, shrapnel, and other battlefield threats, while preserving their mobility. The suit also may involve powered or unpowered robotic exoskeletons to improve warfighter performance and endurance, while enabling the warfighter to operate silently and unseen.

Also of interest are embedded, conformal, or wearable computers, radios, antennas, and displays for situational awareness, to display the positions of nearby enemy and friendly forces, as well as for enhanced decision making.

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