The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is an attempt to deliver to the individual Special Operations soldier a powered suit which would essentially give him super-human strength, speed, render him bullet and blast proof, and include a suite of sensory equipment (such as thermals, night vision, ect) which would enhance his ability to identify, discriminate, and eliminate targets at long ranges. It sounds like something out of science fiction, or more to the point it sounds like another DARPA or Lockheed Martin boondoggle, but behind what has been publicly revealed, some very real progress has been made.
As the TALOS program heads into phase two, some working prototypes are already being tested by Army Special Operations personnel. TALOS is expected to weigh in at about 400 pounds, be able run 25 miles per hour, and jump ten feet high. Currently both a light assault model and a heavy breacher model of the TALOS suit are planned. The entire system runs off of a classified hybrid engine.
Initiated under Admiral McRaven when he commanded SOCOM, TALOS is seen by many insiders as largely a distraction. While the suit itself is important, there are many other programs associated with TALOS which are expected to provide immense benefits to SOF down the line. These fringe benefits would include the armor and weapons developed for the suit.
One expert whom SOFREP spoke to in regards to the TALOS program brought up the notion that TALOS is really just a stepping stone any way. The end game will be autonomous androids which will do our door breaching and room clearing for us. It sounds far out there now, but this is a possibility which will probably be witnessed within our lifetimes.
As for TALOS, one can only imagine fast roping eliminated as suited up operators can just hop out of helicopters while in flight, run to their target twice as fast as a horse, and then barrel right through the front door of the target. The enemy can be killed with the specialized TALOS weapons systems, but in reality the bad guys could just be crushed with the robot hands on this powered suit.
As one JSOC operator (perhaps optimistically) remarked about TALOS, “we could clear a sky rise in two minutes with two guys.”