I’m know I’m not the first comic book/sci-fi fan to ever wonder what might happen if you combined Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit with the armor worn by Boba Fett in Star Wars. I know this because those two characters had to have been the inspiration for the next-generation combat exoskeleton Russia recently put on display.
Unlike the famous Star Wars bounty hunter or billionaire-philanthropist-playboy that inhabit the inspiration for this suit, the Russian version doesn’t appear to be capable of doing anything yet.
However, it was described as a battery-powered exoskeleton that will provide the soldier with more strength and stamina, along with enhanced body armor.
The bulletproof helmet also features a pop-up display and light. Russia hopes to have their suit in action within the next couple of years.
Thankfully, Russia is not alone. The U.S. military has been tailoring their own suit, which is formally known as the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS. Over the course of the last four years as many as 35 vendors and academic institutions have been tackling the engineering of the Iron Man-like suit.
Some view the initiative as a waste of money, with basic tasks like internal temperature controls and batteries with enough juice to power the exoskeleton proving to be the biggest challenges. Then there are additional issues like field maintenance of an 800-piece suit, and the overall weight.
Interestingly enough, many feel France’s FELIN system might be the closest to a true combat suit. It lacks the sci-fi look and facial visor, but integrates advanced electronics, GPS and weapons systems in providing a high-tech approach to the infantryman’s uniform.
The armor, however, is probably closer to a football player than a super hero.