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DejaVuPortableOps Cropped2 "Hmm, I don't remember that one. It mustn't be that important."
This article is about a subject from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

The Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear (ICBMG) was a mobile nuclear missile platform created by the CIA during the Cold War, preceded by the test model Metal Gear RAXA. Partially based on the designs of Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin, Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov's primary contribution was the development of its rocket booster,[2] which would deploy Metal Gear in a similar manner to an intercontinental ballistic missile, hence its name.[3]


The ICBMG's nuclear function was to act as a mobile launching device for MIRVs. While therefore capable of making nuclear strikes against several targets at once, its range was limited, and unlike the Shagohod, was unable to compensate for it with speed. Thus, Metal Gear had to be physically transported to a point within range of the target(s) first. This was accomplished by having the Metal Gear unit itself attached to the top of a rocket, launching it, detaching the unit at 3000 ft (914m) above the intended landing point, and having it parachute back down to the ground, launching its nuclear payload afterwards. It could be airlifted from one location to another by at least three choppers.[4]

The ICBMG was a mobile nuclear missile launch platform that could fly on a ballistic trajectory to infiltrate any country in the world and deliver its multi-warhead payload, and it can also operate without support. Because of its immense size, a heavily modified version of the Saturn V rocket, which acted as a rocket booster for the ICBMG, was developed based on blueprints that were leaked to the Soviet Union via a spy within NASA. The rocket booster also required both solid and liquid fuel variants, meaning it also required liquid nitrogen in addition to liquid oxygen and kerosene to give the rocket booster enough propulsive force to be launched (as liquid fuel was required to be at a constant temperature for it to work). It also contained enough nukes to target every single major city within the Soviet Union.

Although the CIA believed that it was based on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and thus acted as an alternative to MIRVs, it was actually a completely different weapon. Taking the best of both ballistic missiles and cruise missiles and combining them, the ICBMG was extraordinarily difficult to intercept once it had been launched (ballistic missiles), and was also able to attack its targets with pinpoint accuracy (cruise missiles).[5]

Mec02 mtl2

Silhouette of the ICBMG atop the Saturn V-derived rocket booster.

During the actual launch deployment sequence, the solid rocket booster would propel it into space, then would reenter the atmosphere after arriving over its target. During atmospheric re-entry, the ICBMG will penetrate through enemy territory at high speed, to the point that conventional weaponry, such as tanks, will not be able to intercept it.[6] At an altitude of 3000 feet (914m), the Metal Gear unit would separate and parachute down to earth, where it would launch miniature nuclear warheads.

After the ICBMG has successfully landed in enemy territory, infantry would be ineffective against it. Scrambling fighter planes would also be incapable of stopping it, as by the time they are deployed, Metal Gear's attack would already be over.[6]


San Hieronymo Incident[]

Main article: San Hieronymo Incident

In 1970, the CIA commanded the FOX unit to steal Metal Gear from a U.S. military convoy unit and hand it over to the Soviet Union, pretending to defect in the process.[7] This action would reignite the Cold War, thus maintaining the CIA's influence in America's military affairs. However, the United States Department of Defense had enlisted Gene, FOX's squad commander, to instead launch Metal Gear into Russia, rather than hand it over, in order to tarnish the CIA's reputation. FOX stole both the ICBMG and Metal Gear RAXA during transport, and delivered them to the San Hieronymo Peninsula, Colombia; the location of a former-Soviet missile base that they had taken over.

Raxz metal gear

The ICBMG being transported by several Mil Mi-24 choppers.

When Naked Snake later located the crate in which Metal Gear had been shipped (labeled "MADE IN USA"), he speculated that it had been disguised to look like it was headed to Vietnam. Roy Campbell when learning from Snake about the spare parts left behind and their nature was left confused due to the conflicting reports (the parts indicating a tank or similar vehicle, while the role of the weapon was closer to a jet or ICBM). Snake later learned about the weapons' purpose from the anonymous contact "Ghost." Roy Campbell later supplied it with the name ICBMG in reference to its similar properties to an ICBM. After destroying RAXA at the missile base's assembly plant, Snake soon learned that it was merely the test model. RAXA had served as a diversion, while the real ICBMG was transported away, via helicopter, toward an underground silo complex. Disregarding both the CIA's and the DOD's plans, Gene actually intended to launch the ICBMG into America. Snake was unable to reach the launch control room before Gene could begin the launch countdown, and resorted to destroying the unit itself.

Although the ICBMG had already been attached to the top of its rocket booster and was effectively defenseless, its thick armor made it invulnerable to conventional weaponry. It had been designed as such to prevent the Metal Gear unit's destruction prior to launch. In addition, any assault on the rocket could have caused the underground silo complex itself, as well as the entire area surrounding the silo complex,[8] to be destroyed in the resulting explosion. Determined to stop the launch without any concern for his personal safety, Snake stormed the ICBMG himself, attacking with his RPG-7.

At the same time, the troops that Snake had inspired over the course of the incident helped him out by firing their own weapons. Although the rocket launched anyway, it quickly became clear that all of the combined firepower damaged it sufficiently: after detaching from the rocket, Metal Gear began to fall off course, with its nuclear payload launchers being fused shut, resulting in its destruction once it crashed back down to the ground.

Though Ocelot and Zero, the supporters of Gene's rebellion, had planned for the ICBMG to target America, they had never intended for it to be successfully launched. Their real intention was to force the DCI to expose the existence of documents, pertaining to the Philosophers and their "Legacy" in the wake of a potential nuclear strike on the United States. After ambushing him in an underground CIA bunker, Ocelot stole the documents and killed the DCI and his two bodyguards.

Behind the scenes[]

If Sigint is recruited by Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, he will mention his interest in the ICBMG's rocket technology as one of his reasons for joining.

The ICBMG is the only conventional Metal Gear in the series that the player does not fight in a boss battle. It is instead destroyed during one of the game's cutscenes.

Originally, the scene where the ICBMG was launched in the ending was meant to be given in a fully-rendered FMV cutscene, but hardware limitations on the PSP had them relegate it to a comic book-style cutscene. The 2006 TGS launch trailer showcased the rendered version.[9]


Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Naked Snake (Big Boss): They [FOX] left a bunch of spare parts [for Metal Gear] behind... HEAT rounds for a recoilless cannon, spare barrels for an M1919... and bulletproof armor close to five inches thick.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Sokolov: …These aren’t the blueprints for the Saturn V. They only look that way… These are the schematics for the booster rocket used in the ICBMG. I wouldn’t call them absolutely essential, but they do help speed the preparation process along. // Roy Campbell: What? So what you’re saying is, if Snake hadn’t gotten these plans, the ICBMG might have been launched much sooner. Why didn’t you tell us sooner? // Sokolov: If you’d looked at the documents closely, you’d have seen my name listed among the designers. And then… then... // Campbell: Snake would find out you helped develop Metal Gear?
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Roy Campbell: From what this guy "Ghost" [Sokolov] has been saying, the weapon we're chasing is a Metal Gear with intercontinental ballistic-launch capabilities. An ICBMG, if you will.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Three Hind A choppers were seen airlifting the ICBMG away from the assembly plant to the silo, after the ruse of RAXA and the ICBMG was revealed.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Nikolai Stepanovitch Sokolov (Ghost) describes the ICBMG in a radio conversation.
  6. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Sokolov (Ghost) explains this in a radio conversation
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Naked Snake: The military...the Pentagon arrested the Major [Zero]? Why? // Para-Medic: He's being held under suspicion of treason. I don't know the details, but a month ago, a CIA unit [FOX] stole a top-secret weapon [ICBMG] guarded by the military and fled the country. They're charging the Major with instigating the revolt. You've been charged too, Snake.
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    This is revealed in a radio conversation with Sokolov (Ghost).
  9. ^

See also[]