By that, I mean what are the advantages of a Bipedal, Silo-less nuclear tank.

The Metal Gear wiki states that it's purpose is to "destabilize the global balance of power via the threat of covert long-range nuclear attack" and to "connect infantry with artillery, making it invulnerable to firepower shortages and terrain"

The problem is that mobile, bipedal tanks aren't covert at all, are vulnerable to artillery, and are designed to launch nukes, which doesn't address ammunition shortages.

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    You might benefit from asking this over at the scifi site. Dec 31, 2011 at 12:14
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    This question could be saved, I think, if the answers addressed how the game justifies Metal Gear in-universe rather than how it would be justified in real life. If this is unacceptable, then migrate to SciFi. Relevant Meta Discussions: Part 1 Part 2
    – Steve V.
    Jan 1, 2012 at 3:28
  • This would make a very interesting question over at Worldbuilding. A similar question has already been asked there: Plausible Reasons for usage of Combat Mecha.
    – Nolonar
    Sep 11, 2015 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


Metal Gear would absolutley destroy the foundation of war as we know it. It's, as stated, a Bipedal nuclear weapons system. This would create all kinds of issues as it would give it's controller the ability to launch a nuclear weapons attack from anywhere on the world. In addition, it's mobility completly takes the 'range of the missile' out of the equation as it could just walk within range after being dropped off where-ever it needs to be.

While nuclear subs have this ability to some extent, Metal Gear takes it beyond just a step further. Subs are much easier to find. Metal Gear is, indeed, covert, as it is so small, in addition to it's other attributes, that it could be easily hidden from enemy detection until needed. IE: in an underground bunker. Most detection methods are designed to find an object that is either much larger, or (speculation here) designed to give off a much stronger heat signature.

The "connect infantry with artillery, making it invulnerable to firepower shortages and terrain" part of your question I daresay is the easiest to answer. It's a mechanized battlesuit my man. The very DEFINITION of next-gen warefare. Militaries all over the world (in real life) have been trying to create this very thing, or something similar to it at least, for years. Do you have any idea how much ammo weighs? Or how much more that weight feels like after youve patrolled on foot for twenty clicks? Or how much for that matter your ARMOR's weight feels like and is? (anti ballistic vests and such)? -- And terrain is a JOKE. It dictates everything about everything we do as soldiers. We are not hindered so much by our equipment, physical fitness is the counter to that, or by our enemy, superior tactics and know-how counter that, but terrain is un-conquerable. It either allows or denies a mission with absolute authority. Climb a few clicks up a mountain because it's in your way and then tell me different. Metal Gear (or just about any mechanized battlesuit for that matter) COMPLETLY eliminates any kind of hindrance from everything I just covered here. Sure its ammo is feasibly exhaustible, but when you have a hard time carrying 60-80 extra pounds of rounds, having SEVERAL TONS OF IT at your disposale changes the game in a whole new way.

Afterthought: I have since learned that my idea of how subs work was sadly mistaken, but the basic premise of my answer remains sound. I'm going to leave the answer as is.

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    I have serious doubts about "subs are much easier to find"
    – Steve V.
    Jan 1, 2012 at 2:40
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    The game series started with Metal Gear way back before the cold war ended. Of course we can look now and say "that was a dumb idea" but how would they have known back then that the United States has 12 Ohio class submarines that could blanket the world in nuclear radiation in a matter of minutes? Anyway, by Metal Gear Solid 2 they have the mass production Metal Gear Ray which really does nothing. A bunch of them get pwnt by Raiden and Ocelot's unit gets pwnt in Metal Gear Solid 4.
    – Nil
    May 2, 2013 at 7:01
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    @Ender I thought the main thing was how it fired wasn't like a missile but a bullet so it got around some treaties. "This also exploited a specific loophole that existed in anti-nuke treaties, since weapons fired from a rail gun were not technically ballistic, so limitations on ballistic missiles did not apply." Was the proof here is the wiki page that talks about it metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_REX
    – Halfwarr
    May 27, 2013 at 18:06
  • @halfwarr thats an extremely good point, one that had not even occured to me.
    – Ender
    May 27, 2013 at 21:29
  • nuclear submarines are more covert. bipedal vehicles are inferior to tracked for various reasons. no military in the world is pursuing them because mech suits are an anime meme. downvoted
    – Seph
    Dec 25, 2017 at 7:40

According to the game it's so they can launch nuclear missiles from anywhere on the planet. The idea being that a bi-pedal tank could go anywhere.

Of course it doesn't really make much sense, and there's a funny conversation in MGS3 where the character SIGINT explains exactly that, pointing out what a stupid idea it is.

It's all part of the fun of MGS! :)

  • o but it does! but it does! (looks prophetic)
    – Ender
    May 14, 2012 at 20:03

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