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The Raptor-One is a massive VTOL anti-kaiju aircraft designed after the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor plane which is used by the U.S. division of G-Force in the 1997 Random House novel Godzilla 2000. Raptor-One is a four-man aircraft consisting a pilot/commander (Pierce Dillard), a co-pilot/flight engineer (Martin Wong), a navigation and communications officer (Tia Shimura), and a weapons systems officer (Kip Daniels).
Raptor-One and Raptor-Two are giant VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, molded after the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor planes but twice as large with a length of over 100 feet (over 30 meters), wingspan of 175 feet (53 meters) and their twin-turboshaft tilt rotor engines topped by four bladed propellers that were 50 feet (15.24 meters) long. Unlike normal Osprey aircraft, the Raptor's twin vertical tail stabilizers were mounted on its fuselage (body) instead of its swept-back rear horizontal wings as well as having noses made completely of heat resistant windows that were tapered in the back. The Raptors are cloud gray with jagged lines of purple and mauve on their backs and sides.
Godzilla 2000 (1997 Novel)
In 1988, U.S. Air Force General Jake Taggart wrote an article for a strategic studies journal how certain weapon systems could be modified to defend against Godzilla's reappearance or the appearance of another monster. No one expected Godzilla to return as the creature was presumed dead after the events of his 1954 rampage and neither he nor any other creature like him had been seen in decades since then, and thus was assumed to be a one time freak incident. In 1998 Godzilla would finally make his presence known to the world at large by attacking Japan and feeding off several of its nuclear reactors, the creature either being the original one or another member of the same species. That same year, after witnessing conventional weapons fail to stop Godzilla, an advisor to the president remembered Taggart's article. Taggart would be pulled out of retirement and along with Colonel William "Bill" Krupp be put in charge of Project Valkyrie, a top secret U.S. Air Force project to create Taggart's proposed anti-kaiju weapon system, with Taggart and Krupp's mission to oversee the training of teenagers in the use of said weapons as the next generations anti-kaiju fighting force. The project was funded by a black budget of over a billion U.S. dollars by the Air Force, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and NSA (National Security Agency) combined. The weapon system proved too complex for seasoned Air Force pilots to effectively learn so it was decided younger people would have an easier time learning the system. Using a video game called BATTLEGROUND 2000, devised by Colonel Krupp and Dr. Markham, and placing it in arcades, the U.S. government monitors players performances using the CIA and NSA with those achieving high scores having their fingerprints scanned and picture taken by the machines without them knowing, with those having criminal records, behavioral or psychological issues having their files thrown out without knowing and those with clean records being approached and recruited with consent from their family if they were a minor. The U.S. government was willing to forcibly conscript them if they refused but would not need to as all the recruits, all underage teenagers, accepted the offer with reasons ranging from a sense of duty to their country, a sense of adventure or to get out of broken homes.
Initially the construction of the weapon was behind schedule despite the cooperation between all major American defense contractors working on the program. The Pentagon would pull strings to speed up the process allowing Raptor-One to be completed in late May of 1999 two months ahead of schedule, shortly after Raptor-Two was already completed and shortly after meteor showers had awaken several monsters around the world with Varan appearing in Mexico and a swarm of Kamacuras in Kansas. The Raptor crew would go under more intense training both simulated and live exercises. Project Valkyrie ended and G-Force U.S.A. had become a reality. While Godzilla had been the initial target when he stepped on American soil, plans for Raptor-One to engage the monster were called off when a lethal, radioactive blood pathogen had been unleashed in Moraga,California after AH-64 Apache helicopters had attacked the monster, resulting in hundreds having to be hospitalized and even dying. Another reason for the delays was the public relations nightmare as the crew were all minors in their mid teens who weren't supposed to be see active duty till 2001, well past their eighteenth birthdays, much to their frustration. Eventually out of desperation the U.S. government would allow the Raptors and their crew to see active combat but not against Godzilla, instead they were sent to Houston,Texas in June of that year to deal with Varan once he had made his way into American airspace as a test for the Raptors and their teams. A fierce aerial battle was waged, with man and monster playing chicken, causing both Varan and Raptor-One to lose altitude with each attempted ramming attack by the monster. When Varan is forced to land on top of a fuel station for ships near the bay, Raptor-One launched several Hellfire Missiles at the fuel farm resulting in a massive explosion that ignited Varan's hydrogen filled air sacs it used to float. Burning alive from its own internal gases, Varan retreated before an internal explosion caused the monster to plummet to the ocean. Dead or alive, Varan was out of action and G-Force's U.S.A. division had won its first victory against the monsters.
Despite the Raptor teams proving their capability, plans to attack Godzilla were further delayed until July when he made his way to Gunnison National Forest in Colorado, far away from populated areas and preventing another outbreak of his blood pathogen. Raptor-One and Godzilla fought evenly a fierce battle, with Raptor-One unleashed its payloads to Godzilla's sides and back and Godzilla initially only getting indirect hits in, though he did managed to destroy a missile bay when his Atomic Breath detonated a Hellfire missile after the heat shielding had been lowered. The battle would never reach its conclusion when a news helicopter disobeyed the military's no fly zone and the less armored Raprtor-Two was lost in the conflict shielding the helicopter from one of Godzilla's stray Atomic Blasts. With the loss of Raptor-Two the operation was called off and one of its crew, Lori Angelo, had gone missing while the other, Tobias Nelson, was injured.
Raptor-Two would be replaced by a converted and heavily modified CV-22 Osprey to act as Raptor-One's intel. The war machines would see action in the new century. A new threat emerged from space, King Ghidorah had been freed from its rocky prison after nuclear missiles were launched to destroy large asteroids threatening to cause a mass extinction of life on Earth. On January 1st of 2000, Raptor-One is sent to New York City to intercept the space monster. Another monster, Mothra appears along with Lori Angelo. It becomes clear Mothra had been acting as a higher power, leading Godzilla to where he would be needed to fight King Ghidorah. Both Godzilla and King Ghidorah enter the city around the same time. Raptor-One is the first to engage King Ghidorah, firing its new modified Teflon Surgical Needle Missiles at the golden tyrant. The first lost altitude, bouncing off King Ghidorah's chest and detonating harmlessly and destroying the Dakota apartment. The second one had pierced and lodged itself in the base of the middle neck but failed to detonate. Raptor-One switched to its other weapons, and after a short but intense battle Raptor-One managed to survive. King Ghidorah broke off its fight with Raptor-One to instead focus on Godzilla and Mothra. When King Ghidorah strangled Godzilla, Raptor-One fired its cannons at the missile still lodged in King Ghidorah's middle neck. King Ghidorah retaliated with its Gravity Beams, blasting off several of Raptor-One's heat panels. Finally, in its last moments Raptor-One found its mark, a single bullet had ruptured the missile resulting in King Ghidorah's central head & neck being blasted right off and giving Godzilla the chance to aim the most powerful Atomic Breath ever recorded by kaijuologist into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, resulting on the entire tower falling on King Ghidorah, further injuring him. With King Ghidorah fatally wounded, Godzilla and Mothra were given the opportunity to drive the space monster away from the planet. Though the Raptor was lost its crew had survived, playing their part in saving the world and would lead the way to humanity perusing new ventures of making new, more powerful anti-kaiju weapons.
Capabilities and armaments
Reinforced carbon-carbon and translucent teflon
Raptor-One was almost completely covered in lightweight version of Reinforced carbon–carbon (RCC), the same material used by NASA to shield space shuttles from the heat and friction of atmospheric reentry, with its cannons and missile bays also being covered and only exposed when when in use and its propellers being made completely out of RCC. Its nose was completely comprised of double pane, transparencies (windows) made out of a new revolutionary Translucent Teflon that were tapered in the back, allowing its crew full view in almost any direction but behind the aircraft. The two materials allowed the Raptor-One to take direct hits of Godzilla's Atomic Breath with temperatures in excess of 1,200°F (648°C) without suffering any damage. Additional armor was added on after the Raptor's fight with Godzilla in preparation for its fight with King Ghidorah.
Heat-resistant panels and digital cameras
For additional protection for the Teflon windows, heat-resistant panels could be lowered to shield them. The Teflon windows were built to also work as digital monitors when the panels are lowered and are fed visual real-time images from hundreds of digital cameras on the fuselage and wings.
Both Raptor-One and Raptor-Two are painted cloud gray with jagged lines of purple and mauve on their backs and sides. Kaijuologist conjunctured that the jangled color scheme would make it harder for Godzilla to see the aircraft in the sky. The Modified CV-22 was likely given a similar paint job as the camouflage combined with its much smaller size would make it a harder target to spot.
Being that they are based off the Osprey, both Raptors are VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) aircraft capable of both traditional propeller plane flight and the hover, and the maneuverability of a helicopter using their twin turboshaft tilt-rotor propeller engines, they could remain stationary midair, ascend/descend in place, fly backwards or turn 180 on the dime. Both Raptors are capable of a flight speed of 250 mph (402 km/h). Though it's unknown how weighed down the converted CV-22 was when outfitted to be Raptor-Two's replacement, it possibly could have flown at a normal Osprey's max speed of 351 mph (305 kn;565 km/h).
Both Raptors were equipped with advanced radar and navigation systems capable of detecting Varan who was invisible to normal radar, though Raptor-One's was less advance than Raptor-Two's as Raptor-Two detected Varan before Raptor-One. Both are fed constant updates on their location by geopositional satellites. These computers can highlight parts of a computer-generated schematic to show where damage has occurred. After the loss of Raptor-Two a converted CV-22 was modified with Raptor-Two's advance equipment while Raptor-One would also be given upgrades to its radar and avionics systems.
30 mm GAU-8/A Avenger cannons
The fuselage of Raptor-One was lined with massive GAU-8 Avenger cannons, rotary cannons capable of firing a variety of different types of ammunition, the cannons were capable of firing over 4,000 rounds per second. The cannons have variable fire rates and, depending on the ammo & fire mode being used, the cannons combined can fire 40,000 to 42,000 rounds per second. While capable of fully automatic fire, controlled three second burst fire was recommended so the aircraft would not be slowed down by the guns recoil, so great was their firepower. Tracer rounds were an option to help with readjusting aim in night time skirmishes. The incendiary effect of the tracer rounds, though mild, could cause a fire. Should one gun jam, all the ammo would be diverted to the non-jammed guns.
The cannons fired massive 30 mm bullets and were mainly used to fire the controversial 30 mm Explosive Armor-Piercing Depleted Uranium Shells. Depleted Uranium is very dense, is more aerodynamic than traditional lead bullets due to being smaller in diameter, has deeper penetration and sharpens itself when going into a target as it "sheds" as well as ignite as an incendiary from the friction of impact or shedding due to Uranium being flammable. In fact Depleted Uranium is pyrophoric, once freed from its jacket just contact with the air can ignite the bullet. Depleted Uranium is a heavy metal, the particles that break off from impact can be breathed in, resulting in cancer in humans or birth defects of future children. While radioactive, its radiation level is too low to power monsters that feed off radioactivity such as Godzilla. These bullets caused no visible injury on the monster Varan, initially bouncing off his armored sides but concentrated fire on one injured spot on the creatures back from the Armor Piercing Rockets did cause enough shock to force the monster to land completely and rounds caused Godzilla pain when the cannons concentrated fire near sensitive spots such as his ears.
Before the battle with King Ghidorah the ammo would be switched out for the experimental 30 mm Teflon-Coated Explosive Shells, bullets covered in a layer of Polytetrafluoroethylene, this reduced friction allowing bullets to slid in a target further before deforming or breaking, causing deeper penetration into a target. The bullets were surprisingly very effective, even more so than the Uranium rounds which struggled to damage Varan's armor as the Teflon bullets shattered and splintered King Ghidorah's golden scales like glass, possibly punching through his softer flesh underneath.
Built into the wings of Raptor-One were armored missile bays that stored and fired various types of missiles and rockets such as cadmium missiles. Seeing that cadmium missiles fired from type 75 self-propelled howitzers did deplete some of Godzilla's energy during his attack on Japan in 1998 through a chemical process, Raptor-One was armed with dozens of cadmium missiles to drain any nuclear powered monsters of their energy by interfering with their bodies' nuclear process. Cadmium works on nuclear-powered monsters in much the same way it works on nuclear reactors, though it had no visible effect on the alien King Ghidorah.
The armored missile bays built into the wings of Raptor-One also stored AGM-65 Maverick Missiles, air-to-surface, precision-guided missiles that lock on to a target and have a heavyweight warhead fitted with a delayed-action fuze, allowing the missiles to penetrate the target with their kinetic energy from impact before detonating, allowing for maximum damage on large armored targets from the inside. Alternatively the Maverick Missiles could be fitted with an impact fuze so they detonate upon impact like standard missiles. The Maverick Missiles can be armed with two different types of warheads. One is a penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead which is multi-purpose in its design, after the missile pierces a target with its kinetic energy upon impact the warhead then creates a powerful, damaging shock wave upon detonation as well as fragmenting the missile casing, resulting in the missile breaking into many pieces flying as high velocity projectiles that can cause injuries or damage.
The other warhead the Maverick Missiles can be armed with is a shaped charge, a warhead with all its explosives packed into the back and hollow cavity in the narrow front with a metal cone lining the cavity called a conical liner with its tip facing the explosives and open end facing the missile tip. When detonated, the explosion is focused towards the hollow cone in the front, pushing the liner forward, deforming and inverting the cone, turning it into a high-velocity superplastic jet of hypersonic metal particles which allow it to punch through armor like a spear in a process known as the Munroe Effect or the Neumann Effect. While the means to penetrate armor is meant to be kinetic in nature it does generate a lot of heat as a byproduct this process, so it can be used as an incendiary weapon as well, causing ignition after penetrating a target's armor.
Armored weapon bays on the underside of Raptor-One's wings can open up, allowing four internal Armored-Rocket Pods to lower and hang on the underside of the wings, each one containing 50 Armor-Piercing Rockets for a total of 200 small rockets made to punch into a monsters armored flesh and detonate. These are made to be the middle ground between the cannons and missiles, combining the rapid fire barrage and ammo capacity of the cannons with the explosive power of larger missiles. Though it did use this ability, it was never stated what kind of rockets were used, only that it was various types of armor piercing rockets, perhaps so analysts can study a fight and to determine which weapons are best for penetrating a monsters thick hide. These rockets hurt Varan causing enough of a shock to make the monster lose altitude and leaving injuries vulnerable to the GAU-8/A Avenger Cannons, forcing him to land completely.
It is unknown if the rockets were guided or unguided but because it was stated Raptor-One was armed with a variety it possibly could use both, the caliber of the rockets is also unknown.
Laser-guided smart bombs
Raptor-One's has internal armored bomb bays built into the underside of its wings that can be opened up to drop Laser-Guided Smart Bombs on a slow moving land bound monster. Following one or more laser designator shining on a target from one or both of the Raptors, the advance electronics of the bombs adjust their glide path towards the target for precision strikes on any possible weak-points or injuries. This ability went unused and the number of bombs is unknown though it is known it could carry and use a variety of them.
Additionally Raptor-One's wing pylons could also carry larger external armored-rocket pods under its wings to carry more of its standard rockets and missiles for more firepower as well as different types that were not part of its normal default loadout including ones too large for its internal armored-rocket pods. One additional weapon not part of its standard armaments were six AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The Hellfire Missiles are guided air-to-surface, anti-armor missiles. While usally laser-guided they can be fitted with other guidance systems such as the Hellfire LongBow variant that uses both a millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker and inertial guidance system turning it into a fire-and-forget missile. This allows it to lock on to a target even after being fired and does not need further assistance of a friendly unit within visual range of the target, even able to lock on to targets in adverse visual conditions and poor weather such as smoke clouds from fires or rain and fog that could mask a target or prevent a laser designator from forming a proper reflection. The max speed of the Hellfire missiles was mach 1.3 and they could be fitted with several different types of warheads.
Like the Maverick Missiles, the Hellfire Missiles can be outfitted with a blast warhead that creates devastating shock waves when they explode, a fragmentation warhead that shatters the missile casing into several high velocity fragments upon detonation and a shaped charge as well as the more powerful High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) version. Just like the shaped charge, the HEAT warhead uses an explosive packed back, and a hollow, narrow front with the cavity walls covered in a metal conical liner with the open end of the cone facing the missile tip and the cone tip facing the explosives to create the Munroe effect. Using the focused pressure of the explosion to deform and invert the metal cone out of the missile into a high-velocity, superplastic jet, resulting in hypersonic particles that smash through armor with kinetic force like a spear. Though they generate a lot of heat from this process, resulting in a secondary incendiary effect, the two warheads are meant to be kinetic weapons and any heat generated is a byproduct. The Hellfire Missiles can, however, be armed with incendiary warheads to burn and ignite under a monster's skin should it penetrate their thick hide.
The Hellfire could also be armed with a Tandem-charge, a multi-stage warhead capable of two or more stages of detonation. Made to combat explosive reactive armour (ERA), the first explosive would be a weak charge to pierce the outer layer of armor allowing a passage or hole for the second, strong warhead(s) to pass through and explode under the targets skin in the same spot as the first charge. Just like the Maverick Missiles, several of the warheads can be mixed and matched to create two or more desirable effects such as adding a Blast-Frag Sleeve over a HEAT round. Some of the warheads are insensitive munition to reduce unwanted or accidental detonation from shock or heat from a monster's energy weapons. Some variants of the Hellfire Missiles have programmable fuzes, allowing for them to either detonate on impact or have a delayed detonation, using their supersonic speed and weight to slam into a target, damaging them with kinetic force and penetrate into them like a bullet before exploding for maximum damage.
During the battle with Varan, Raptor-One fired all six of its Hellfire Missiles at a fuel tank under Varan's soft underbelly when the creature landed in a tank farm holding diesel for ships, resulting in a massive explosion that ignited the monsters internal gases and hydrogen filled air sacs.
Raptor-One's wing pylons could carry two large cruise missiles, one under each wing. Its most powerful weapon was two Teflon-Needle Missiles, jet-powered, high subsonic speed BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) that had been modified and specially equipped with surgically honed needle sharp tips made of Teflon as they fly into their target at speeds of up to 550 mph (480 kn; 890 km/h). When launched a safe distance away these missiles would pop out two hidden wings like a switchblade for better flight control. Using a laser-targeting system, these all-weather, long-range anti-ship cruise missiles were capable of punching into and burying themselves into a monster like giant hypodermic needles before unleashing a ship killing explosion. The Tomahawk missiles could also be fitted with a rocket booster to give them additional range and should the missiles fail to detonate but lodge themselves into a monster via the needle tips, cause a monster to be weakened and possibly even die from blood loss over time. Just one of these had managed to punch through the hide of King Ghidorah, lodged at the base of his central neck, causing him to bleed golden blood profusely. King Ghidorah seemed to ignore or even be oblivious to this injury until this one missile detonated and generated a massive explosion that completely decapitated the central head and neck, fatally wounding the monster and knocking it down.
The sister craft of Raptor-One, Raptor-Two is nearly identical to Raptor-One, save for its lack of weapons, weaker armor and carrying more advance navigational and observational equipment than its sister craft. Although it is designated as Raptor-Two it was finished before Raptor-One. Raptor-Two is a two man aircraft with one Pilot (Tobias Nelson) and an Air Caps (Air Combat Controller) (Lori Angelo) feeding commends to the helmet of Raptor One's weapons systems officer. Raptor-Two's job is to fly high above Raptor-One and the enemy, observe the fight and give Raptor-One's crew constant feedback and updates.
Modified CV-22 Osprey
After the loss of Raptor-Two, a normal Osprey had to be heavily modified with Raptor-Two's advance equipment to act as Raptor-One's new Air Caps, its replacement crew consisting of General Jake Taggart and Colonel Bill Krupp. It's unknown what other changes, if any, were made to the aircraft such as armor.
Raptor-One is for all intents and purposes a giant, flying ammunition bay. Because of this, its radar system was not as advanced as its sister ship's. Raptor-Two would fly high above the battle giving Raptor-One constant updates and intel on the battle acting as second pair of eyes, should Raptor-Two be shot down then Raptor-One's situational awareness is reduced. Raptor-One's cannons could jam and while the ammo would be automatically diverted and fed to the remaining cannons this lowered the amount of rounds that could be fired in a barrage. Additional armor put on for preparation in the upcoming fight with King Ghidorah resulted in additional weight on the weapons bay, with tests before the fight sometimes resulting in them jamming and not fully opening. While excellent against the heat of Godzilla and King Ghidorah's energy attacks as well as the electrical nature of the Gravity Beams, several of the heat resistant (RCC) tiles were blown off by the kinetic power of King Ghidorah's gravity beams.
While Raptor-One and its missile bays are fully armored on the outside, the missiles bays insides are not nor are their payloads. When open they are fully exposed to high temperature attacks, such as when Godzilla's breath detonated a Hellfire missile in its open rocket-pod resulting in a chain reaction that caused the lost of some ammo and damage to the Raptor. The Teflon-Needle Missiles could lose altitude, as they are just normal Tomahawk missiles not made to fly with the extra weight of the needles on their front and because they were hastily modified mass produced weapons instead of specially made anti-kaiju armaments they were vulnerable to malfunctions with one failing to detonate when it got lodged into King Ghidorah's neck, having to be shot with large caliber Avenger Cannons to be forcibly detonated.
Being that it is made primarily as a surveillance support aircraft, Raptor-Two has far less armor than its sister ship and no weapons to speak of. Raptor-Two was meant to stay high above the battle out of notice of a target monster but was shot down with a single hit of Godzilla's breath when forced to shield a news helicopter. The Modified CV-22 is just a normal Osprey, hasty converted to replace the Raptor-Two as Raptor-One's support after the former had been destroyed. It likely did not have any anti-kaiju weapons and due to its small size probably had even less armor if it was even outfitted with any additional armor at all, so it could easily be destroyed.
- There is a minor inconsistency regarding how many GAU-8/A Avenger cannons Raptor-One has, with page 112 saying it has four but pages 226 and 295 later saying it has eight.
- Raptor-One's Avenger Cannons have a higher fire rate than Avenger cannons do in real life, with the Raptor's being able to individually fire 4,000 rounds per second while in real life the Avenger cannon fires 3,900 rounds per minute.
- Like the Super X and Super X3, Raptor-One is equipped with cadmium missiles in order to deplete Godzilla's internal nuclear energy.
- Although real-life Hellfire missiles can be armed with a thermobaric warhead, such variants were not yet available at the time Godzilla 2000 was written.
- Although anti-ship missile variants of Tomahawk missiles did exist in real life, they had been withdrawn from service in 1994 and converted with standard warheads.
- The Raptor-One's Teflon-Needle missiles were also upgraded with a laser guidance system, something typically not found on real-life Tomahawk missiles, which normally use GPS (Global Positioning System), INS (Inertial navigation system), TERCOM (Terrain Contour Matching), DSMAC (Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator) and active radar homing as their guidance system.
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