In Marvel Comics' fictional world, there was just one Iron Man to fight the bad guys, but US military could have an entire brigade of Tony Starks in the next few years.
That's right. Admiral William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, revealed on Tuesday, that they expect to receive the first batch of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) by June.
"That suit," he said, "if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators."
The batch, expected to contain three prototypes, will be unpowered in the beginning and undergo several years of internal testing before being given to actual commandos for action.
It means that all its ultra cool, high-tech features won't work for now, and giving them to the future Tony Starks for field usage won't even be possible until August 2018.
But once the suit is fully functional – and by that we mean they have a battery strong but compact enough to power the thing – it would give its wearer superhuman strength and also offer him greater ballistic protection. Throw in MIT's liquid armor that can create hardened shield in milliseconds and you'd get a real life incarnation of a comic book super hero.
So far, unconfirmed reports suggest that TALOS will have a computer, a health monitor and the aforementioned liquid armor. Through wide-area networking, its operator will also be highly aware of his surroundings.