What is the body armor of the future?
The innovation surrounding the new tech driven world, has a culture of making rapid changes to
the social norm. Currently, there are a select few materials and designs accepted and used by consumers. These materials withstand to the best of their abilities, but with all the leaps forwards in other aspects of technology, it sparks curiosity on the future of military body armor. Although nothing is officially released, there are a couple of technological breakthroughs being developed for the protection world.
Liquid Metal, No this isn’t fiction
One of the sci-fi inspired ideas being developed currently, is the implementation of a liquid metal body armor. Created to reduce the weight and bulk of body armor; most materials used presently are far heavier, and can weigh up to 30 – 40 pounds. This new armor technology, if successful, will provide the same, if not better level of protection at a fraction of the weight. At this point the mind tends to wonder about “how it is possible to have a full range of protection from liquid armor?” The technology developed behind this development is the most intriguing aspect. One of the possible fluid compound is using small iron particles and submerging them in a silicon oil, this oil prevents the liquid from rusting. The armor is activated by a current, which makes the iron particles align on top of each other to produce a hard shield. The hardness of the armor is determined by the strength of the current ran through the armor. Although it sounds as if this armor may not be introduced until another life time, it has been predicted that armor could be implemented as early as 2020. The armor is supposed be implemented in a body suit being funded and created by the Army, the TALOS program.
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The TALOS program
The name TALOS is an acronym for tactical assault light operator suit, this program is
responsible for piecing the liquid armor to an even larger product. This operator suit will be a new category of protection and has 3 main components, the liquid armor, exoskeleton, and technological integration. These 3 parts come together to create a state of the art super suit. The liquid armor is the first component, and has the most important job. Providing full protection to the solider but will refrain from weighing the solider down. The next component is also of grave importance, the creation of the exoskeleton. There has been several trimmings to this outside protection, including a tech integrated helmet and the addition of leg reinforcements. Each component of this suit is an attempt to create a super suit that will ease soldier’s burdens, such as carrying load outs. The technical additions to this are what give this future product its unique flare. The plan is to incorporate a range of technologies that could put a lot of equipment being carried to rest. For example, scientist plan to place full GPS system in the suit to help pin point their location if needed. It will also host a communications system equipped with local and wide connections. The next is a vital monitoring system that will report the soldier’s status to their superior officer. This includes things like oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. The biggest feat in getting this suit operational is a proper power source, batteries of our time will drain before the suit even has a chance to be put to full use. We will see what TALOS has in store for the American solider.