By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
February 12, 2015
DefenseReview (DR) just watched Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) on cable, and we were struck by how much the base exoskeleton of Tom Cruise’s character’s (Maj. William Cage) soldier suit reminded us of the B-TEMIA/Revision Military Prowler Human Augmentation System (HAS) and Lockheed Martin HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier) exoskeletons when Cage actually steps out of it. Of course, Cage’s suit is highly weaponized in the movie with shoulder mounted missiles, arm-mounted guns, etc., but the base suit isn’t all that different, which begs the question of just how far off are exoskeleton-wearing super soldiers.
Probably not very. 2025 has been a target date for ‘super soldier’/’Future Warrior’-type future soldiers, but that year has always seemed a bit optimistic to us, at least until the last couple of years. With the exponentially increasing speed of technology development made possible with CAD/CAM, 3D prototyping and ever-increasing computer speeds, 2025 may just be possible. That said, the 2030-2035 time frame seems more realistic to DR, with a worst-case scenario of 2040 for fully-weaponized versions like that in the movie.
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