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Pentagon Iron Man Suit May Become Reality for Special Ops Soldiers

By Morgan Chilson   |   Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 05:01 PM

An Iron Man suit for the Pentagon? The admiral leading U.S. Special Forces wants to make it a reality to help protect soldiers, CNN reports.

Adm. William McRaven has approved the creation of what is formally called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, but which has earned the more colorful nickname of the "Iron Man Suit" after the silver screen’s Iron Man.

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Special operations soldiers are often the first to breech entryways and McRaven would like to see a suit created that would give them more protection during such dangerous moments.

“If you think of that operator at the breech point of that door, and he’s got to open that door, not knowing what’s on the other side, he’s got to be in position to be protected as soon as that door opens,” he told CNN.

Numerous technologies already exist that could be combined to create an Iron Man suit. Raytheon and the military, for instance, are working on technology that would let soldiers lift about 17 times the weight they normally could lift. Springactive, a tech company, has created something that would attach to soldiers' shoes and convert their steps into electricity that could power equipment, CNN said.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the suit would be almost invulnerable to bullets and shrapnel, and would have bionic parts and live data feeds, among other things. Ideas outlined in high-tech movies will be included, if possible: Consider a suit that would have built-in oxygen, inflatable tourniquets to stop bleeding, and sensors that send a soldier’s vital signs back to command, the Times said.

“We’re taking the Iron Man concept and bringing it closer to reality,” Army Capt. Brian Dowling, who now works with a defense company on the suit, told the Times.

Special Operations Command went looking for ideas from private industry, universities and others for the suit this year and plan to create a working prototype within a year, the Times said.

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