Godzilla was on TV the other night, the 1998 version, and the critical scientist in me died slightly when looking at the military operations employed to stop it. And a couple of other things.
Probably stemming from my over-analytical brain. Analysis. From the Greek, “Lysis” meaning “breaking down cell membranes, possibly through putrefaction”, and “Anal”, meaning “Rectum”. Yep I’m going to be a rotten arsehole, especially if you liked this film for some insane reason.
Depending on your flavour of “Gojira”, it’s a big lizard, between 100 and 300 metres long. According to some wiki research, the 1998 film noted it was 200 metres long, 60 metres high and weighed 600 tons.
That’s a lot of lizard.
So, starting my rant, this is one reason why I, as a problem solving engineer interested in aviation amongst a lot of other things, starts getting pissed at TV.
Are we in Indian territory yet?
The US Army sends something looking like an AH-64 Apache after Godzilla…
The AH-64 can hang a heck of a lot of hardware on it’s winglets, but there are at least 2 hardpoints too many there – it’s starting to look like a Kamov Ka-52.
Still taking liberties with the design of the good old Apache, what happened to the M230, 30mm, chin-mounted, chaingun
Lets put that mounted by the cockpit, where it’s going to stop the pilot’s door from opening, and ruin both the pilot’s and the gunner’s night vision as soon as they open fire. And keep the nose centred on it all the time. No wonder they could not hit the damned thing.
Maybe they should have mounted it below out of sight on some sort of rotating and pivoting mount so it can point anywhere, and avoid blinding the aircrew?
Then, they go “missiles” on it, fire some infrared homing missiles – that miss as Godzilla is colder than the buildings. Fine, that could hold up, but… the Apache is normally armed with laser guided Hellfire missiles, and possibly two AIM-7 Sidewinder or four FIM-92 Stinger’s.
You have a 200 metre lizard that you want to engage with a light anti-aircraft missile as opposed to a missile designed to cook up 60 ton armoured vehicules with pinpoint accuracy? Ok…. And more on the infra-red side of things later.
Only Imperial Stormtrooper are so precise…
So, Gojira has eaten the three Apache’s, and the land forces roll up, armed with M16 and M4 rifles, some Ma-Deuce’s and a ton of seemingly unguided rocket launchers.
Some simple math here. Bare with me.
The standard rifle round for the M16 platform is the 5.56×45 NATO round. 5.56 is the bullet diameter in millimetres, and 45 is the full bullet length, again in millimetres. It’s a full metal jacket boat tailed round, that will do somewhere between 800 and 1000 metres per second.
So… You shoot an unarmoured man with a 5.56 mm bullet….
175 cm / 0.56 = The bullet is 312 times smaller than the man.
And you now go and shoot a 200 metre lizard?
200 000 cm / 0.56 = the bullet is 357142 times smaller.
It’s about like being hit with a spec of dust. A spec of dust moving at 1000 metres a second. It will very probably sting… but it will not throw you on your arse.
There is a reason why these military assault rifle calibres are not recommended for hunting anything larger than a fox or small deer – the bullet is nowhere near powerful enough. It’s not the battle rifle rounds of the past, and there is a reason why a .700 Nitro Express is used for big game like buffalo and elephants as a 17.8mm round weighing in at 65 grams will do a lot more damage than the 4 gram, 5.5mm bullet from a modern assault rifle.
Leave the rifleman infantry out of the equation, and send in some battle tanks with high performance armour penetrating rounds, except the problem here would be over-penetration. The Depleted Uranium (DU) penetrator of an APFSDS (Armour Penetrating Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot) will go through the soft flesh and slightly harder bone of any creature and keep on going. The standard shell may be 120mm, but the actual penetrator will only be 20 to 30 mm, but will be going warp speed downrange, and would probably go through the creature from bow to stern.
The US M829A3 APFSDS muntions commonly report over 750 mm of penetration through solid armour plate – at 2 kilometres (about 2.5 feet at 1.25 miles), so from a couple of feet away, it’s going to come out. At least the DU penetrator won’t give the animal any more problems with radiation poisoning…
Standard High Explosive would be the way to go – or better, the High Explosive Squash Head (High Explosive Plastic in the US Army) would be a good bet.
They deform on impact, spreading the explosive out, to increase the internal shockwave. It would not do good things to your internal nervous system, and should break a few bones on the way.
In The Navy…
Skipping over the submarines that scored an own goal with nobody in SONAR screaming about an incoming torpedo, and nobody monitoring the Mk48 ADCAP, and either cutting the control wire or doing somthing to redirect the torpedo from sinking it’s own ship…
So, in the end, the US Navy sent a flight of 3 F/A-18 Hornet strike aircraft, armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles that were sent initially to level Madison Square Gardens. Using two missiles. Thats 442 kg of high explosives, it would not do the building any good, but given the nasties that are running around inside, maybe some good old fragmentation bombs would have been better? Anyhow, first view of the Hornet letting off it’s missiles…
Wait, the jet only has 2 underwing hard-points?
With the round inlets, it’s not a Super Hornet, but even so, I thought there were at least 2 hardpoints per wing, and 3 under the body? Maybe I got it wrong, it’s been a long time since I fawned over the McDonnell-Douglas posters I got when I was 10.
Nope, looks like I was right. They could have loaded up some heavy bombs there and had a much better tactical option to address the situation. And that gives me another idea that I’ll come to in a minute.
So, running the math from the Hornet attack scenes:
- 3 jets in the flight * 2 missiles per jet = 6 missiles in total
- 2 fired at Madison Square Gardens = 4 missiles remaining.
- 12 missiles fired at Godzilla from the same 3 Hornets only minutes later : minus 8 missiles.
Rambo with his infinite magazine would have been proud.
Stopping the elephant in the room
Or the Monster in Manhattan – with the might of the Army and Navy and one scientist so on the ball he could play professional football without losing opportunities or demolishing half the town?
And my plan is simple. And cheap(ish). And also requires a metric crapton of fish and some friends. Let’s meet them.
General military doctrine is “if you can see it, you can kill it”. If it’s skin reflects laser light it’s an added bonus.
The laser guided Glide Bomb Unit (GBU) model 24 fixed to a 2000 lb (924 kg) “bunker buster” BLU-109 hard target penetrator bomb – a smart bomb – can fly about 16 kilometres, and when dropped from a fast jet from 30 000 feet will be trucking along in excess of Mach 0.9, or about 1100 kilometres an hour. It will take 30 seconds to reach the ground and it can fly and guide itself to hit a moving target, as long as someone on the ground can paint it with a laser designator. Heck, an F-15 hit a flying Iraqi helicopter with one in Gulf War One, so as long as it’s happily eating fish in Times Square, leave it alone for 30 seconds before half a dozen of these one ton lumps goes and drills 38 Cm holes through it’s head, within 1 metre of the laser designator, going in the top, out the bottom, and leaving a 38 Cm wide, 30 metre deep hole in the road below. Goodnight Vienna.
Use inert training rounds without any explosives, just use them as 1 ton armour piercing bullets.
No plan survives contact with the enemy
So, we called up SAC and got a pair of B1-B’s loitering overhead, and find that the lizard has skin that does not allow for effective laser illumination, and it moves if it thinks it is threatened…. infrared cannot be used to target because it’s colder than the environment, and standard small arms are going to affect it less than you being shot with a 6mm plastic bb shot from an airsoft pistol. If only there was a way to guide somthing heavy and explosive that did not rely on laser, radar or infra-red tracking. Maybe somthing remote controlled – like a wire guided torpedo, but flying through the air?
I present my next friend. The BGM-71 TOW – for Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided – anti-tank missile.
It has a 3.9 to 6.1 kilo explosive warhead, an impact probe, as its name suggests , a trailing control wire, as you can see on the image, so you can track it, and follow the lizard, even if something spooks it enough to abandon it’s 10 ton fish dinner – you can run but you can’t hide.
The operator can track the missile, and guide it through the aiming optics onto the target…. like a head or limbs. Limbs are good. It’s hard to run with a broken leg…
Then you can pummel it with whatever you want…
Finally, just as a backup, Godzilla is not really eating as much as swallowing the fish, and there is a decent amount of empty space in a gutted salmon, and even more so in a tuna.
You have a golden opportunity here to stuff several kilos of prime heartburn right into the belly of the beast before going Michael Bay on it’s arse…
Back to that Infra Red problem…
Well, you have a 200-300 metre sea monster running around the place, and say it did not go for your C-4 infused, TOW and GBU-24 targetted fish platter… And you can’t use infra-red (IR) targetting munitions that track heat because there is none to track… but the absence of information is information.
Instead of throwing the Apache gunships through an exciting Descent style chase through the Manhattan skyscrapers, send them up, high, and use their IR targetting scopes. They are very good, and part of their motto is “We own the night”, and they can see the difference between warm and cold, even in the pitch dark.
The hotter something is, the brighter it is, the colder it is, the darker it is. What is the possibility of looking for a 200 metre long, 60 metre high smudge, that is as dark as Hudson river against the lighter grey background of the warmer city? Oh, and that smudge moves… Well, radio that position back, the Apache drivers can start attempting to illuminate the target from kilometers away. If a good laser lock can be had, back to the laser guided smart bombs that are less than a minute away, and the Apache can also let loose with it’s own Hellfire anti-tank missiles, and if no good lock, it’s going to be able to guide your TOW equipped land (and possibly helicopter) forces, who, as long as they can see it, will be able to hit it.
And the eggs?
Well, the only fast movers that we saw were the F/A-18 Hornets, but if we have some bombers with laser guided muntions on board, it would be probably better to target the Madison Square Garden hatchery with a couple of heavy smart bombs – and given the amount of military hardware floating around Manhattan, get some Humvee’s over there with .50 cal BMG (Browning Machine Gun) and whatever sniper teams you have – it’s time to go Big Game hunting – should be enough firepower to clear the place out, though it’s going to need some major renovation work before hosting the next boxing match.
From my position, as Supreme Tacitcal Commander of the Imperial Internet Chair Force, I think that this monster outbreak can be contained within 24 to 48 hours. With luck, we don’t need to set off too many high explosives in down town Manhattan, and we can do like a Panda.
Someone else will have to deal with a couple of hundred tons of semi-radioactive lizard meat…. Maybe try to pin the blame on France as it was their tests that started it all…