The first prototypes for the US military's Iron Man armor will be ready for testing by this summer, said the head of US Special Operations Command today. At a special conference in Washington DC today, Defense Tech reports, Navy Adm. William McRaven stated that three unpowered prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, are currently being assembled, with an expected delivery by June. The suit will undergo an evaluation period and hopefully be field-ready by August 2018.

TALOS will hopefully be field-ready by August 2018

During the conference, McRaven emphasized the suit's potential to save lives. "That suit," he said, "if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators." The TALOS was commissioned last October, and may one day be armed with its own on-board computer, health monitors, and MIT-developed liquid armor that can harden in a matter of milliseconds. The hope is to allow the wearer to walk through a stream of bullets — not unlike the Marvel superhero.

Presently, 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories are working together to develop the armor. McRaven wants to up involvement to include mechanics and craftsmen on the project, and may seek the authority to approach the Pentagon to distribute prize money for interested experts.