I hate to describe myself as a warmonger, and I certainly would not, but I do find the military fascinating and more fascinating, at least to me, is the tech they use.
If you read enough science fiction you will eventually read some story about a future war where the soldiers wear some super advanced suits that are capable of all sorts of amazing feats. These suits have always been in the realm of sifi and comic books, well all that is about to change.
If you Google the TALOS suit you will get any number of hits to articles that show some cool futuristic military suit that is capable of some really cool stuff. I found a few articles that really highlight the capabilities of what some say will be available by 2018. Below is a brief description:
The TALOS suit is a battery-powered exoskeleton that weighs just over 13 pounds. It attaches to the back, thighs, and feet, and allows its wearer to carry an additional 33 pounds. The suit will also come with a unique form of liquid body armor that solidifies on command. The wearer triggers a magnetic or electrical current to activate the armor.
I am most fascinated by the liquid body armor, that seems really cool. I have seen this stuff before and what is great about it for the soldier is the weight reduction. That is the number one problem with the current body armor that our troops wear. I think currently they wear steel or metal plates, that as you can imagine, are very heavy and cumbersome, restricting movements. There was some talk about possibly creating a porcelain plate, but I am not sure where that ended up. The reason for those was the weight reduction. Still using these plates only cover a small portion of the chest, protecting the vital organs, leaving the extremities and other body parts exposed. I would imagine that this liquid body armor would flow under the skin of the suit and cover every inch of the body, becoming bullet or projectile resistant in an instant. I would also imagine that the skin of the suit would be some sort of projectile resistant as well, so more or less double protection. That is amazing and really cool for our troops who put their lives on the line each day.
The other cool thing is the exoskeleton itself. It says that this straps to the legs of the soldier and enables them to carry an additional 30 pounds of gear, basically making each soldier stronger, albeit not superhuman strength but that extra 30 pounds could help in a fire fight. That means more ammo, more food, more water all of which are very important.
When I first read about this a few years back I was a major skeptic, as it seemed too good to be true, but now it seems that this technology is coming along faster and better than anyone realized. One of the drawbacks that I can see, and it was not mentioned, was the battery life of the suit. That could be a major hindrance. Excuse me Mr. Bad guy sir, could you stop shooting at me for a second while I change the better out of my suit. Thanks. Still though this technology is only in its infancy so I would imagine that the suit itself and the battery power would only get better as time goes on.
This all sounds fine and dandy and I believe should be implemented as soon as possible as to me our troops safety is of the up most importance. But as with most things in this universe, what does one of these cost? At the end of one of the articles it says there was a $80 million price tag. I am not sure if that is what the program itself cost or if that is per suit. I cannot imagine the suite costing that much, that is almost what a fighter jet would cost. Still though you have to wonder what our defense department is willing to pay for one of these for each soldier. Basically what is the cost to train and replace a solider that is either killed or wounded. It sounds terrible to try and monetarily quantity what each soldiers life is worth but I assure you that someone somewhere it figuring out that right now or will be very soon.
I would think that training an elite soldier is very expensive and time consuming. So if this suite cost $500k per soldier and it prolonged the fighting life of a soldier I would imagine that it would be beneficial for everyone involved. If a highly trained soldier can fight longer and harder, while this may seem odd, being a soldier could be a full time profession as opposed to volunteering a few short years. This may seem a little scary but I think having a more experienced fighting force could never be a bad thing. When you go to talk to a financial advisor do you want someone who just graduated college or someone who had been in the business for 20 plus years. Now what about a doctor, hiring a new employee for your business, ect. ect. My point is that there is almost no substitute for experience in any profession and the same goes for the military or a soldier. If we every have to go to war I would much prefer troops that have been serving for many years and have wartime experience, not somebody fresh out of boot camp.
I would also imagine that this suit could open up the door for female soldiers. I know this is a very hot topic now as the first female soldiers graduated from Ranger School. If this suite could give a female the same strength and stamina as a male soldier, which I think is main hang up. I am not being sexist, but generally, GENERALLY, females are not as strong as males, nor do they have the stamina that males have. Males have more muscle which helps, but if this suit could level the playing field then I see no reason why female soldiers could be sent into battle. I could be wrong but I think currently females are not sent into battle, and I was wrong this use to be the case but was lifted in 2013.
So I guess my argument is flawed but still it is really cool to see this technology in the real world. I wonder how this will change the future of warfare if it gets implemented?