In the early 90s the head of the Royal Armory of Desert Star made a bold move in an attempt to stunt the growth of West Haven's domestic industries by proposing the construction of a new plant in the Republic of West Haven. While the offer seemed genuine and beneficial at the time, the farsighted Republican Council realized what sort of damage that would inflict on the growth of their own industrial capabilities. Thus, the offer was declined - only to be followed with a threat to abolish all production contracts presently held within the Republic. For nearly three days the Council was deadlocked on what to do about the situation. Continuing to produce the licensed products could lead to a war but ceasing production would mean the ruination and perpetual dependance on Desert Star for all of their industrial needs. Before any decisions were made as to what to do with the situation, Queen Mahelian Shaquela interceded, withdrew the offer, and apologized for the comment made by her subordinate. The damage, however, was already done. West Haven had remained reliant on the Royal Armory of Desert Star and Capos Industries for far too long already. Furthermore, the miscommunication between the Queen and her subordinates within the Armory gave the impression that someone within the Kingdom of Desert Star wanted West Haven to remain reliant; Which of course meant that the Republican Council had to make moves to prevent that from continuing.
The result of this frightening revelation was code named "The Liberty Initiative" within the Republican Council and called for West Haven to begin developing their industry with greater vigor than ever before. All three major industries in West Haven were called together to cooperate with this endeavor. L & N Electronics was to produce equivalent products to refit and reequip present military equipment with domestically produced products in addition to new designs for future projects. Smithe Corporation was asked to ramp up production of farming equipment, motor vehicles, and light armored vehicles. Republican Industries was asked to begin working on replacements for ALL Royal Armory of Desert Star equipment presently in their military arsenal. That was not all, however, West Haven had to be prepared for the absolute worst - that the Kingdom of Desert Star MAY attempt a military solution to the loss of one of their largest consumer nations. Weaponry had to be recalibrated to a slightly larger caliber that could accommodate R.A.D.S. munitions while their own could not be used in reverse. A new type of energy clip and energy conversion adapter had to be developed that would allow standard energy clips to be used in their own weapons while domestically produced clips would short out the energy conversion adapters of those who captured their clips. Finally, new weapons and machines of war that would rival or exceed the best of the N.O.M.A.D. Military of Desert Star would have to be developed. As such, the Liberty Initiative was launched, and for the next several years R.A.D.S. equipment would be pulled from front line duty and would be replaced with domestic varieties.
The issues with the Light Gauss Cannons in West Haven's military service had long been a thorn in the side of the infantry forces, thus it was apparent that a new model would one day be developed that was superior to the Type 84/86 LGC. As described elsewhere, there were numerous deficiencies in the basic Type 84 LGC as well as it's successor the Type 84/86 LGC. Thus as part of the Liberty Initiative a new type, built from the basics on up, utilizing the lessons learned from the upgrade program that led to the Type 84/86 LGC, the new model would remedy most if not all of the previous deficiencies.
Design work began in 96PA to produce a LGC that could be broken down into two components, the basic cannon which included the action and its lengthy rifled barrel, while the heaviest component, the gauss accelerator assembly could be quickly and easily slid off of the barrel assembly to be carried separately. Second, the action and rifled barrel would be completely free of electronics which would simplify production and lighten that portion of the weapon. Third, the new type would not be reliant upon nuclear power supplies, rather it would utilize the new standard energy clips, thus permitting the energy supply carrier to replace this with a satchel of energy clips and could still carry the gauss accelerator assembly. Also addressed was the basic design of the Type 84 LGC being intended exclusively as a heavy weapon for the use of augmented humans, supernaturals, or cyborgs. Amidst its designs were provisions to mount the weapon on a tripod, pintle mount, or with an ammo drum/power supply. For pintle mounts, the stock/shock absorbing recoil suppressant could be removed for greater mobility. Chambered for the new 20.02 mm Tungsten Jacketed Ferrous Ringed AP shells, it retained the same destructive capacity and range of its predecessor while remaining lighter in weight than the Type 84/86 LGC.
Unveiled in 98PA, the new Republican Industries Type 98 LGC proved to be superior to its predecessors in every way, overcoming the shortcomings of its ancestral designs. Since its initial field trials it has replaced both the Type 84 and Type 84/86 as the standard squad support weapon for West Haven's military. It has also been applied to a variety of other applications as well where its range and destructive capabilities have proven it to be an excellent primary weapon for light armored vehicles, small watercraft, aircraft, and as a secondary weapon for heavy armored vehicles.