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A dragon has appeared on the streets of New York and is rampaging around attacking anything that moves- along with devouring the local wildlife (humans).

Dragon Characteristics

  • Main body shares similar dimensions to a fire truck, with a serpentine neck of half that length and a tail of the same length as the body but slimmer.
  • Four legs, sharp claws that can dig into concrete and steel. The legs are strong enough to move this dragon at up to 50 mph though it cannot maintain this speed for more than perhaps 10 minutes.
  • No wings.
  • It does not breathe fire so much as secrete a chemical in a special organ under high pressures. It can fire this liquid the length of a football field and it functions identically to Chlorine Trifluoride once it impacts anything beyond air. The dragon cannot be harmed by any aspect of this breath weapon.
  • The dragon is more intelligent than dolphins/apes and is familiar with humans and their weapons. It knows military forces on-sight and prioritizes their deaths compared to civilians.
  • The hide is capable of deflecting any bullets that are below the 0.50 caliber without issue, feeling only like an annoyance. 0.50 cal bullets will cause pain but will not pierce the hide without a sustained series of shots on the same area.
  • The dragon can remain in combat for 24 hours before it will have to rest. Sometime around 20 hours it will attempt to burrow beneath the streets or possibly building rubble to make a den where it will attempt to get at least 5 hours of sleep before it's revitalized.

Note- The humans are not familiar with these characteristics until they experience them, for example, not knowing how durable the hide is until they presumably fire at it with different weapons. With the above information in mind, and citizens frantically calling the local police about this issue, what is the best response with the following goals?

  1. Minimizing civilians casualties and property damage

  2. Stopping the dragon as soon as possible, death of dragon not required but not forbidden by any means

  3. Obeying the chain of command (Proper procedure for calling SWAT, national guard, etc.)

  4. Preventing mass panic

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the dragon a light sleeper? $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ It's actually fairly heavy (joke). But it would sleep through most noise, only waking if it felt like its chamber had been breached or it was being attacked by something powerful enough to hurt it. $\endgroup$ – Friendlysociopath Apr 14 '17 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ You say a .50 cal will not pierce the hide, but what about Armor Piercing ammunition. .50 BMG AP can go through scary amount of armor. There are also anti-material munitions bigger than .50 cal (20 mm for example), though getting one on short notice might be a challenge. $\endgroup$ – MozerShmozer Apr 14 '17 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Then all they need to do is wait for the dragon to sleep, sneak close to the chamber with as much explosives as possible. Trigger a few to collapse the tunnel leading to the chamber then detonate the main charge. $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @MozerShmozer to add an RPG or HEAT round would work nicely too $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 16:02
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First we need to examine the dragon. It is a fast, armored, ground-based weapon capable of firing a projectile, and operates with a high degree of intelligence and autonomy. Does this sound familiar? To me it sounds like a Tank. Perhaps a bit hungrier and wigglier than the traditional models, but a Tank nonetheless.

With that out of the way, let's talk about how to engage it. As a few people have been discussing, the dragon is tough, but not invincible. Typical small arms fire is going to be useless, but .50 BMG seems to be at the lower edge of effectiveness, so we'll start there and work our way up.

There are also four conditions to consider alongside the effectiveness of the weaponry:

  1. Minimizing civilians casualties and property damage

  2. Stopping the dragon as soon as possible, death of dragon not required but not forbidden by any means

  3. Obeying the chain of command (Proper procedure for calling SWAT, national guard, etc.)

  4. Preventing mass panic

These restrictions limit exactly which weapons and tactics we can employ against the dragon. There are, of course, aircraft which would obliterate the dragon with little effort, and even ground-based weaponry that will suffice, but most of those options are culled by either consideration 1 or, surprisingly, consideration 3. Obviously we could just nuke the dragon, or carpet bomb it, or use any number of very, very destructive munitions, but you don't want civilian casualties or property damage so we can't do any of those things. Also, since this is a domestic emergency in New York, we are limited to the weaponry deployable by the NYPD SWAT teams, the New York Army National Guard, and the New York Air National Guard. Luckily, I think I have found some suitable weaponry accessible by each of the three branches.

The SWAT teams are going to be the first to respond to the "disturbance". Small arms obviously aren't going to work, and men on the ground are going to get roflstomped by the dragon, but as soon as they notice it has no wings it won't take long for them to deploy in Helicopters. A couple aircraft with sharpshooters armed with .50 BMG weaponry might even be enough to put the dragon down all on their own, no National Guard involvement needed. You mention a vanilla .50 BMG will hurt the beast, but not penetrate its hide. Luckily for our intrepid SWAT team, the .50 BMG AP (Armor Piercing) or "Black Tip" cartridge is far scarier (I know from experience it can penetrate at least an inch of steel). There are also .50 BMG API (Armor-Piercing Incendiary) and .50 BMG HEAPI (High-Explosive Armor-Piercing Incendiary) rounds that can do even more damage, though they are probably harder to acquire.

The next step up on the escalation would be the New York Air National Guard scrambling from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse. To my surprise, the NY Air National Guard has only a single combat wing of aircraft and they are all MQ-9 Reaper drones. At first I was a bit disappointed, but I think this is a blessing in disguise. Reapers are unmanned, so we won't lose any pilots, and they're smaller, slower, and arguably nimbler than traditional military fixed-wing aircraft which means they are better suited for engagements in an urban environment, plus they can still carry a wide variety of weaponry. They might not be A-10 Thunderbolts, but they can carry Hellfire Missiles, which are specifically meant for use against armored targets. If the .50 BMG toting SWAT sharpshooters couldn't bring down the beastie, the Reaper Drones armed with Hellfire Missiles will probably do the trick.

Finally we have the New York Army National Guard (I can't say which specific regiment, since it seems the NY Army National Guard gets deployed overseas on a semi-regular basis). From a tactical perspective, if the Army National Guard is involved, then the SWAT teams have failed and the Air National Guard will be having a go. Unless the Army National Guard has any FGM-148 Javelins (and I have found no evidence they do) then the ground troops will likely be little more than fodder for the dragon. The National Guard is, however, quite good at handling emergencies in general. Civilians will be panicking since that's what civilians do best during an emergency, and panicking people do not make good decisions (like stfu and gtfo, for example). If the Army National Guard isn't helping in the fight then they can be managing people, getting them away from the dragon as the Reaper Drones go to work, and handling the general evacuation of the area alongside the police and other emergency workers. It might not be glamorous, but I feel that in the spirit of your question, this job is probably the most important of them all.

So that's how I see things going down. Hope it helps.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly enough -- I wonder if NG or ANG forces can provide mutual aid to each other without a Federal callup. NJANG has the 177th FW and its F-16s... $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Apr 15 '17 at 2:03
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After failed SWAT team intervention and more than a few failed sniper attempts, air support is requested. The National Guard responds to the call by deploying a small formation of Apache Helicopters. Using herding/suppression fire they drive the dragon to a less populated area, where they then strike it with a few sidewinder missiles.

Problem solved.

Reference: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-9_Sidewinder

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  • $\begingroup$ Sidewinders are air-to-air missiles: the dragon has no wings, so presumably can't fly $\endgroup$ – nzaman Apr 14 '17 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ Or an A-10 BRRRRRRRRRT Problem solved $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeKissling you're probably right, just figured that infrared homing would make for sure thing $\endgroup$ – apaul Apr 14 '17 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ Hellfire are wire guided aren't they? Should do just as well $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeKissling looks like they are often laser targeted? I don't have any personal experience, how are they with fast moving targets? $\endgroup$ – apaul Apr 14 '17 at 16:26
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As I said before, use poison, pathogens, or parasites.

At least that will help: if the dragon has a bad case of scale mites it might be easier to punch through with artilary. Since this is modern times, they might use weaponized diseases like anthrax or clouds of nerve gas.

Even without actual weaponized chemicals handy, just using commercial chlorine gas etc. would be easy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just pointing out that specifically chlorine gas doesn't work due to his breath weapon causing that to form when it hits things and he is immune to it. The rest of that is still perfectly valid though. $\endgroup$ – Friendlysociopath Apr 15 '17 at 17:39
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Taser drones.

You could have taser drones with capacitors big enough to drop the dragon. Or you could have a drone carry a live wire from an adjacent building and drop it on the dragon.

If it has muscles it will be all over. If its armor works because it is metallic, even better. If it has hit a fire hydrant and is standing in a puddle, best of all.

It could stop a drone carrying a wire with a breath weapon but that is it. You could rig it so the whole drone is charged and if the dragon touches it, that completes the circuit. The drone itself will not be hurt by the wire en route because there is no path to ground as long as it is airborne. Have drones take off from (abundant in NYC) adjacent rooftops carrying wires and turn on the wires in flight.

If you sent 20 of these at once the dragon would be helpless. And: no stray bullets. No property damage. No expensive helicopters piloted by soldiers with families.

Best: you get the dragon alive. Question it at your leisure. Understand its motives. Exhibit it for profit? Have it fight other dragons that attack your city! How could keeping the dragon alive possibly go wrong?

Do you doubt that electricity will drop a large animal in its tracks? Doubt no more. https://youtu.be/WKBC4bMKPnY?t=143

Do you wonder what the Taser Drone theme song is? Wonder no more. https://youtu.be/yK0P1Bk8Cx4?t=27 (as you sing along, change lyric to "taser drone")

If it is 1920 and drones are scarce, you could have guys on roofs throwing truck tires with attached wires at the dragon. Or charge it with an automobile with the wire mounted on the hood (the tires will insulate the auto). Or poke a wire up from an open manhole under the dragon. The theme song does not make as much sense with these methods.

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So this dragon is akin to Godzilla. To minimize casualties, simply lead it away. Either by chasing it off with explosives or .50 cal rifle fire. Or entice it with prey. Alternatively evacuate the area. This will probably be the most likely response by authorities. The moment an unidentified threat starts killing civilians and destroying infrastructure you evacuate the area.

As for taking it down, tanks seem like a decent candidate. However it takes time to get those in range. So unless armor is near the dragon to begin with it's unlikely to be deployed.

The navy or airforce would have a better chance. Or in this case the CIA with drones. Regardless you want a highly mobile force with long range capabilities. Missiles are the easiest but also quite messy. Explosives create a lot of collatoral damage.

No the coolest effective way to take this thing down would be railguns. Sure this comes with a couple of caveats. First it needs a direct line of sight so the attack has to be coastal. Second railguns aren't really deployed yet. It's future tech for the next decade. However it has no explosion and will tear through the dragon with relative ease. I mean it's a railgun, +1 for the cool factor.

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  • $\begingroup$ Navy rail guns, which may or may not be deployed, don't need line of sight. They have an operation range greater than 200 miles with high accuracy. Don't worry about buildings in the way either, projectiles may or may not been designed to punch clean through hardened targets. $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ Even better then. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 14 '17 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeKissling - It almost sounds like you may or may not have first hand knowledge, that you may or may not be allowed to discuss. $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Apr 14 '17 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @cobaltduck Allegedly* $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling Apr 14 '17 at 17:07
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There are some excellent answers already. If the one from MozerShmozer didn't kill the Dragon, this is your backup.

As noted, with the details given, it is only a matter of time when the Dragon goes down. To limit destruction of buildings and reduce collateral damage, I'll focus on ground units.

Luckily, NY has its own base: Fort Hamilton. But looking at the list of units there, only the the North Atlantic Division Headquarters of the United States Army Corps of Engineers might have a way to deal with the dragon. I am thinking explosives and anti tank mines. But this being the HQ I hope there are some senior NCO's who can deal damage.

Fort Drum has a nice collection of asskickers. Mountain troops, those guys should handle tall buildings as well. I cannot find their gear within 3 minutes of searching. But seeing they are well trained light infantrymen, I'll assume they have the gear needed to bring down a Dragon. Gear like: AT4, LAW, TOW & Javelin.

Only question remains, how much time does the Dragon have? I'd say less then 6 hours. Maybe less then 1 hour if a group of troops is live fire training with things like the AT4 and a transport helicopter is ready to go.

Happy hunting!

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It knows military forces on-sight

Using the fact It only knows forces 'on sight', try to attack his back, or a sneak attack.

Also, use electric mines. It would most likely be vulnerable to those attacks.

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  • $\begingroup$ What are electric mines? $\endgroup$ – kingledion Apr 15 '17 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion It might not be currently made, but those are mines, with shocks instead of explosions. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Roh Apr 16 '17 at 0:39
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There are more than a couple of problems with your dragon. Consider the calories it would need to be extremely active for 20 hours. I'm having trouble imagining that any animal can project a stream of liquid 100 yards. Where does it store the mass for its "flame thrower" fuel? A 1 inch diameter stream of liquid the length of a (US) football field is nearly 50 gallons (400+ pounds). It would almost immediately be "out of ammo". It would certainly be more effective to "hawk" a more or less solid (mucus), and while its range would be limited by its aerodynamic resistance and initial velocity, a rheopectic liquid (solid under high shear, flows under low shear) might do the trick. Anyway, any modern High Explosive Anti Tank round would take. it. out. This could be delivered either via missile or shell. (I won't argue the implausibility of such a creature being impervious to 50 caliber (armor piercing rounds - and it is implausible). Another possibility is a flame thrower. If it's really burning that many calories per second, then it must have a real problem keeping cool enough to not boil. It wouldn't function at all well if the ambient temperature was a 300 - 400°C.

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  • $\begingroup$ Kind of thinking this falls between a comment and an answer...the first part is better suited to a comment. The last part is a decent answer and has a great point about the caloric necessity. Maybe ask for clarification about calories and whether magic or handwavium is needed in a comment. Then include you answer about antitank rounds, flamethrowers, and increased caloric need. Welcome to the Site :) Not gonna downvote, we all had to learn the nuances. $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Apr 14 '17 at 19:15
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The dragon is hungry or feel alone. Give him a virgin and they use to sleep for a year more. Then some say it do not exist any virgins, no from what we know they did die out with the dragons :)

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  • $\begingroup$ try answer the specific question asked. Since the question included lots of detail, your answer should incorporate that information (if appropriate). Remember that the person asking the question is developing a world and hopes to develop one that makes sense and is consistent. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Apr 15 '17 at 0:28

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