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Research was carried out for a collaborative battle system in which certain ships would be fully equipped only with armaments and all tasks such as electronic tracking and aiming are directed via data link system from a command ship outfitted with electronic equipment. These fully armed combat vessels are referred to as arsenal ships. They are equipped with overwhelming firepower and a hull built for stealth.
The 25th Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Boorda apparently committed suicide in the 1990s during Phase 2, the functional design phase. However, Nastasha Romanenko mentioned in her book, that there were rumors at the time, regarding the circumstances of his death, as it coincided with ArmsTech's launch of the Metal Gear REX development program and began to wonder whether the rumors were actually true. The project was discontinued, freeing up of the Pentagon's Black Budget, and allowing the REX project to proceed undelayed. However, the concept of the Arsenal Ship was passed on and eventually resulted in the development of Arsenal Gear.
Behind the scenes
According to the Game Plan of Metal Gear Solid 2, General Scott Dolph (the Marine Commandant in charge of transporting Metal Gear RAY to the Bermudas for testing) was originally going to mention the Arsenal Ship Project as well as Admiral Boorda's death during the second phase trials, as well as reference the rumors about the true cause of his death due to REX's development start date coinciding with his death in his speech to the Marines. But the lines were cut from the final version, presumably due to the fact that the Arsenal Ship Plot element was dropped from the final version.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
"The total amount is difficult to estimate, but there is little doubt that Anderson had been bribed to the tune of an astronomical sum. Even the government's Black Budget had limits, however. I recalled a rumor from some years before the Anderson payoff started. The CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) at the time had a classified pet project, and the scuttlebutt was that it involved the construction of a completely new type of battleship. Just what kind of a ship was never revealed, since the entire program fell apart after the CNO suddenly passed away. The unexpected death coincided with ArmTech's launch of the Metal Gear development program. The Black Budget earmarked for the CNO's little project must have been freed up by his death; the question was whether it had been freed up for allocation to the new Metal Gear development. The manner of the CNO’s death was officially ruled a suicide, but I could not help recall the theories to the contrary that had made its rounds back then."
-In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth by Nastasha Romanenko