Army hires Hollywood effects team to design suits for elite combat troops

In search of that extra edge that makes the crucial difference, the United States Army has turned to the backstage gurus of Hollywood to help design the future combat soldier.

The Pentagon has commissioned Oscar-nominated Legacy Effects to build an exoskeleton for the next generation of Special Forces soldiers, enabling them to carrying hundreds of pounds of gear yet remain agile and protected, like their heroes of the silver screen, according to Fox News.

Members of the research team already include bioengineers, tech experts, armor masters and combat veterans, pulled from small companies to military industrial giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

The ultimate goal is “to provide additional ballistic protection for the entire body,” Project TALOS Manager (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) Mike Fieldson told the Military Times.

Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit prototype/Photo Credit: Guardianlv.com
Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit prototype/Photo Credit: Guardianlv.com

Under the auspices of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Legacy Effects has been brought in because the challenges are daunting enough to require imaginative and out-of-the-box thinking. The weight of sensors, advanced armor, weaponry and computers exceed the capacities of batteries.

Fieldson explained that the variables involved in power, mobility, integrated sensory systems, mobility, enhanced vision, temperature fluctuations, comfort and ease of use necessitate “a conglomeration of a bunch of technologies, purpose-built to enable the soldier to be protected to a higher standard.”

He said the project hopes to complete its mission within four years, to more safely protect the Special Forces Operator.

Watch the interview here via Military Times.

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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