It's been unclear how soon that Iron Man suit may be a reality. That is until Monday when the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's official Twitter page stated the U.S. wanted a contract for the suit by next fall and for full field testing to take place in "about four years." This was written prior to linking to an article about the Iron Man suit.
@RDECOM The goal is to have a contract in place by next fall and have suits ready for full field testing in about four years. http://htl.li/qVIJTOfficials from SOCOM issued a formal request to researchers to help them build this suit the military is calling the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS).
“[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that — a whole bunch of stuff that RDECOM is playing heavily in,” said Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, a Army Reserach, Development and Engineering Command science advisor assigned to SOCOM, in a statement.
Military officials hope to tap into some of the country's top engineering minds to develop the suit to include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT engineers are working on a liquid body armor made of magnetorheological fluids that “transform from liquid to solid in milliseconds when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied,” according to an Army statement.