In one corner we have the legendary kaiju herself- Godzilla. Terror of Tokyo, Godzilla is the most formidable enemy mankind has ever encountered, and all but impervious to the military weapons of the Cold War.
In the other corner, we have an F-35 fighter jet, one of the most advanced jets in the world, and aerial predator whose domination of the skies is matched only by its bigger brother the F-22 Raptor.
Packing tens of millions of dollars of stealth technology and sensors, the F-35 fighter jet is one of the deadliest aircraft ever developed. The rules are simple: we will be pitting Godzilla up against a squadron of F-35s, loaded to bear with all the munitions they can realistically carry today, and decide a winner.
Godzilla is an incredibly powerful ancient predator
Godzilla is believed to be an ancient predator from the age of the dinosaurs, with a lifespan of millions of years. Able to hibernate for tens of thousands of years at a time, Godzilla awakens only infrequently to feed, and with most large animal life gone from the surface of the earth, it’s postulated that Godzilla has remained in the deepest reaches of the ocean where it can feed on creatures such as sperm whales and giant and colossal squid.
In the early 1950s Godzilla was accidentally awakened by a hydrogen bomb test by the Americans, and in retaliation arose from its slumber to reap destruction across the first nation it came across: the Japanese islands.
F-35 fighter jet is the most advanced aircraft in the world
The F-35 fighter jet has its origins with 1992’s Joint Strike Fighter program, a program designed to build a single fighter plane that could replace all the various different jets in use across the US military and each of its branches.
Special variants would fill certain niches as needed, niches that were for decades being filled by aircraft of different makes and models. It was believed that by using a single jet with multiple variants, technology could be streamlined and costs could be cut.
Unlike the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, indisputably the most advanced aircraft on earth, the F-35 fighter jet would also be available for international export to US allies and partners. With huge cost overruns and a 7-year delay, the F-35 fighter jet is only now achieving operational readiness status, but has already proven to be worth the wait.
So who would win in a matchup between the F-35 fighter jet and Godzilla? First, let’s look to see what each brings to the table in terms of offense and defense.
What does Godzilla bring to the table?
Godzilla brings many things to the table that makes her a formidable enemy. First and foremost is her sheer bulk, at 164,000 tons she is anywhere from 150 to 1.500 times the theoretical weight limit for land animals- a limit that depends on the ability of an animal’s bones to withstand the sheer weight of its body and thus keep from crushing itself.
This means that not only is Godzilla big, nearly the weight of two US Ford Class aircraft carriers, but that her bones are much stronger than normal, and it’s believed that Godzilla’s skeleton is suffused with heavy minerals and metallic elements. This theory would help explain Godzilla’s signature weapon- her atomic breath.
While not truly atomic as it has no radioactive qualities, her breath does have many electromagnetic qualities and is known to disable electronics it doesn’t immediately incinerate.
It’s believed that Godzilla is able to store kinetic energy as potential energy in her body with the help of her metallic skeleton and then release it when it has reached an appropriate level, converting it via some unknown process into an electric ray of such intensity that it burns at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 Celsius), or 4,000 degrees shy of the surface of the sun.
The fact that the spines along Godzilla’s back are seen to glow with energy prior to the discharge of her atomic breath gives the metallic skeleton theory a lot of credence.
Aside from her atomic breath though Godzilla is highly resistant to damage from conventional weapons, and all but invulnerable to conventional explosives. The only weapon ever shown to wound Godzilla was an American-made Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb, dropped onto her back by a B-2 stealth bomber.
The MOP or ‘bunker buster’ as it is known in the US military is a precision-guided, 30,000-pound explosive developed after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq showed that previous generation bunker-buster bombs achieved poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction. The weapon was effective in wounding Godzilla and subsequent attacks forced her to temporarily retreat.
The case for F-35 fighter jet
The F-35 fighter jet brings some impressive capabilities to any fight. A stealth fighter, the F-35 fighter jet is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing the jet to fly a variety of missions. In one configuration the F-35 fighter jet may be assigned to achieve air superiority, something it accomplishes with ease thanks to its stealth and ability to track, target, and destroy targets from Beyond Visual Range, with missiles en route to a target before that target even knows it’s been fired on.
With its ability to fuse together sensor data from other friendly planes and drones in the area, the F-35 fighter jet can also fill a support role, identifying targets while remaining invisible and guiding weapons fired by other friendly, non-stealth jets to their targets.
Lastly, the F-35 fighter jet can also be tasked in an electronic warfare role, using its superior radar and sensors to jam enemy communications and radar, or eavesdropping on enemy electronic emissions to locate hostile stealth aircraft or for surveillance/espionage missions.
In stealth mode, the F-35 fighter jet can carry four AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, or two AMRAAMs with two 2,000 lb JDAM ground attack munitions. In beast mode the F-35 fighter jet can sacrifice stealth for sheer firepower, carrying 14 AMRAAMs and two shorter range Sidewinders for air superiority, or in ground attack mode it can carry two AMRAAMS, two Sidewinders, and six 2,000 pound JDAMS. Operating in flights of 4 aircraft making up a squadron of 22 total, F-35s work as a team to achieve air or ground dominance.
Into the fight day
What started out as a normal day in Sunny Southern California turns tragic when Godzilla, awakened from her slumber by deep-sea submarine tests by the US Navy, roars her way out of the Pacific Ocean.
In minutes she’s laid waste to the famous Santa Monica pier, and leaving the smoking ruins behind she sets her eyes on Los Angeles- with two Godzilla films in production right now in Hollywood, Godzilla is coming for an audition, and she has one hell of a compelling argument to make for why she should get the role: a 2,000 degree atomic breath.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser rushes to a Florida golf course, letting the President know that California is under attack- no, not by immigrants from south of the border but by a prehistoric lizard the size of a skyscraper.
Thinking about it for a few moments, the President reluctantly agrees to alert the Air Force to defend California. In Andrews Air Force Base out in the California desert, aircraft on alert against a surprise attack against the west coast of the United States have immediately spun up but it’ll take time to outfit an entire squadron of F-35s into ground-attack configuration.
Godzilla meanwhile has wrecked her way to Rodeo Drive, where she stops for a moment to enjoy the sights and attractions of some of the world’s most expensive and luxurious shopping stores- right before she incinerates them all to ash.
West Hollywood hipsters flee in terror, their precious 100% organic fruit smoothie bars and yoga studios in flames. In the horizon though is the distinctive roar of American airborne firepower, a challenge to the rampaging lizard that grows louder as the jets approach.
Burning their afterburners the jets come screaming into Los Angeles at a speed of 1,200 mph (1930 km/h), and have made the journey from the desert to LA in minutes.
F-35s are unleased to fight Godzilla
With their powerful sensors locating Godzilla is no problem, at 164,000 tons her body heat registers like a giant red plume against the city backdrop. Yet their heat-tracking air-to-air AMRAAM missiles are of little use in this fight as they are designed to destroy enemy jets and thus contain only 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of explosives.
Instead, the F-35s link up with military satellites and program a course for their 2,000 pound JDAMs. With a maximum range of 15 miles (28 km) and an accuracy of 7 meters, the first flight of F-35s probes Godzilla’s defenses and loses a volley of one JDAM each at maximum range.
The 2,000 pound bombs are released from their external mounts and deploy small wings to help them guide themselves to their target with the help of overhead satellites. In less than a minute the first volley of JDAMs smash into Godzilla.
The First flight of F-35s continues on their baring straight at Godzilla in order to visually inspect the effectiveness of their weapons. As they get within visual distance of the monster, the pilots are stunned to discover that the high explosives have had little effect on her tough hide, aside from some small cuts and other wounds.
Within just a mile of her now, Godzilla rears back as electricity bursts along her dorsal spines, and a moment later opens her mouth wide, emitting a white-hot beam of electromagnetic energy.
The beam cuts a swathe across the sky, immediately incinerating two of the jets, with the other two barely managing to pull clear of the surprise attack. Though the jets’ electronics are hardened against electromagnetic radiation so they can remain operational in the vicinity of a nuclear attack, the massive discharge of EM radiation so near to each has fried several of their sensors, leaving them in effect blinded. The two survivors are forced to disengage and limp home. Godzilla still stands, while four of the 22 F-35s have been destroyed or disabled.
JDAMS ineffective against Godzilla
With reports of the ineffectiveness of their JDAMS, the squadron is ordered to attack Godzilla in a pincer attack, hoping that her flanks or backside will prove more vulnerable to the weapons. Flights 2 and 3 are ordered to attack from Godzilla’s three and nine o’clock, while Flights 4 and 5 will attack from her twelve and six o clock.
The pilots hope that their weapons might thus find some weak spots on Godzilla’s tough hide. Firing from maximum range again, the jets let loose with another volley of JDAMS, and Flight 2 is ordered to proceed to the visual range to ascertain effectiveness but stay well out of range of her atomic breath weapon.
A minute later, West Hollywood is racked by a series of explosions as 2,000 pound JDAMS smash against Godzilla from all sides. A terrifying roar is heard but dust and debris obscure a clear view of the beast. A single F-35 fighter jet from Flight 2 breaks off and lights up its afterburners to make a high speed pass in hopes of making visual contact- but that’s a mistake.
Godzilla’s adaptations to her deep-sea environment have made her uniquely sensitive to electromagnetic energy, something that like many deep-sea animals helps her hunt in the pitch black of the deepest ocean depths. As the F-35 fighter jet approaches, its powerful radar washes over Godzilla, and like a modern anti-radiation missile carried by many fighter jets, gives her a perfect target to aim at. From the cloud of smoke, a beam of white-hot electric energy leaps into the sky, turning the F-35 fighter jet into supersonic wreckage.
Seconds later, the triumphant kaiju steps out of her dust cloud, having cleverly used the cover to plan an ambush against her aerial tormentors. Godzilla is not only big and mean, but smart too. The other F-35s report the ineffectiveness of their JDAMS against Godzilla’s tough hide, and briefly consider making attack runs with their 25mm Gatling cannons.
But the gunpods only carry enough ammunition for a three to four second burst, and are only meant to be used in a ground-attack mode or as a last resort. Plus with Godzilla’s devastating atomic breath, they’d be easy targets if trying to make close-range passes with their guns. Ultimately the jets are ordered to lose their remaining JDAMS against the monster, but each successive wave of explosions leaves Godzilla almost unscathed- and angrier. She smashes a locally-sourced organic coffee shop as dozens of Angelenos weep.
Their weapons are spent, the F-35s are ordered to return to base. In the end, their 2,000 pound JDAMS are perfectly suited for taking out groups of enemy armor, small buildings, and defensive positions- but against the massive beast are barely more than firecrackers.
Back in the Florida golf course, President Trump is delighted to hear about California’s on-going destruction, and happily orders the Air Force to use nukes instead- the more the better. Over the phone, the Air Force liaison reminds the President that there’s one weapon left to try first- the 30,000 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, specifically built to penetrate deep into the most hardened underground facilities. Reluctantly the President agrees.
For the F-35s there’s only one problem- none of them can carry the massive weapon, only American B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers can deliver the big bomb. For the second most advanced fighter jet in the world, the fight is over, having suffered three casualties and two other planes disabled.
Godzilla wins against F-35s
Godzilla is the clear winner. The F-35s may dominate air and ground against man-made threats, but against the massive kaiju, there’s simply little they can do. With a final roar of defiance against the retreating jets, Godzilla turns her attention back to destroying Whole Foods and roasting hundreds of tons of their overpriced organic produce.
Featured Image: Godzilla (Godzilla vs. Kong Movie), added by MothraLea1996 on Fandom.com, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0; F-35 fighter Jet, by U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons