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‘Batman’ Prepares To Join The Air Force

Grappling hooks attached to siphon electricity from low-hanging power lines. Computers mounted onto a commando’s chest plate. Communications gadgets small enough to fit into gear pouches worn around the waist. The Air Force is actually preparing its special operators to act (and outfit themselves) more like the Batman.

Since 2004, the Air Force has worked to reduce the physical load of gear carried by its Special Operations Forces — the superheroes who seize hostile airfields and rescue captured troops behind enemy lines. Those airmen are often weighed down on these missions, lugging as much as 160 pounds worth of stuff. Since much of the bulk comes from their communications gear, the Air Force opted to cut out heavy batteries to power it, fueling the gear through methanol fuel cells that get lighter as the charge dies. That allows elite airmen to essentially wear their gear like a scaffold, a concept the Air Force calls a “Human Chassis.”

Except a human chassis isn’t a cool enough name.* So the program, pursued at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, bears a moniker that strikes fear into the heart of villains everywhere. It’s the Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided kNowledge (just go with it). Yes: the BATMAN.



Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/batman-prepares-to-join-the-air-force/#ixzz0zin7pjGP
 

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