Russia plans to equip its troops with a full-body “iron man” suit made of composite armor in a project called “Legionnaire” for the country’s next generation of soldiers.

According to a local defense manufacturer, the suit will look like medieval armor and completely cover a warfighter’s body.

The company stated that creating an armored suit to increase soldier survivability and protection is a priority for all leading military powers.

“Today it will cover the entire body of a warrior and at the same time answer the question of whether it is possible to create ‘armor’ from modern materials that will provide effective protection against small arms,” Armocom deputy general director Oleg Faustov told RIA Novosti.

He stressed the need for a strong exoskeleton and an external skeleton to support the suit and protect the person inside.

Risks for Future Soldiers

The plan to develop an “iron man” suit for Russian soldiers comes amid the increasing belief that humans will not fight in wars at all in the future.

Instead, robots and drones will perform combat missions previously carried out by human soldiers.

But according to Faustov, these technological advancements will not completely eliminate the need for a real person to conduct military operations.

A person will reportedly still have to occupy certain positions on the battlefield, resulting in greater risks.

“Machines cannot occupy certain lines and territories on their own, in any case a person enters,” Faustov told state-owned Sputnik. “To do this, of course, [soldiers] must be protected as much as possible. [This applied to all] leading armies [in] the world and we are no exception.”

Sources privy to the development have revealed that the research phase for the project has been reduced from three years to one year, with an estimated completion by the end of 2023.