The US Military says in June it will begin full testing of what it describes as a 'Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit', and which everyone describes as Iron Man armour.
According to Defense Tech, US Navy Adm. William McRaven told a conference at Washington DC that three unpowered prototypes will be delivered to the military by the summer.
The suit will then be evaluated and introduced on to the battlefield by August 2018. At first it is envisioned specifically to help when entering dangerous buildings and doorways.
The 'TALOS' suit is designed to give soldiers added protection from bullets, as well as provide them with a number of on-board health monitors, computer systems and possibly a form of 'liquid armour' which hardens on impact.
Eventually powered exo-skeleton systems and artificial intelligence might form part of future iterations, according to the military's official prospective specs sheet.
That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators,” McRaven said at the 25th annual Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict conference on Tuesday.
He added that 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 national laboratories are working on the technology.