My sister was watching Pacific Rim the other day so as a fan of the movie I decided to join her. I've never really cared about the science of the movie because I've always taken it at face value. It wants to be about robots fighting monsters and it delivers. Good enough for me. This time however I came up with a somewhat more in depth (pun intended I suppose) question that I couldn't find a definitive answer for.

That question is: What is the maximum operational depth of a jaeger, or, how deep underwater can a jaeger be and still function properly?

At the end of the movie two jaegers submerge themselves in the ocean and travel all the way to the breach.

The Pacific Rim wiki states that the breach is located in the challenger deep. http://pacificrim.wikia.com/wiki/Breach

Wikipedia suggests that the challenger deep is well, really deep. Up to 35,814 feet deep. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_Deep

This seems incredibly deep for a giant robot to work against the water pressure and not get crushed. In light of this I was wondering if anyone had found any canonical info or had any solid theories about the maximum operating depth of a jaeger.

Thanks as always,


  • 6
    Well, the crush depth for a Jaeger is clearly more than 35,000 feet.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 22:13
  • 2
    May I humbly suggest that you never watch this movie
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 22:33
  • Ha! I've heard things about The Core, I know to never watch it seriously.
    – AlMar89
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 22:36
  • I don't recall this being mentioned in the novelization. I'll check the art book tonight. It's got some tech specs that weren't mentioned elsewhere.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 23:29
  • 1
    @Richard is correct. More generally, Pacific Rim ignores what's physically plausible in favour of cool fights between aliens and giant robots. Crush depth is the least of the concerns for a jaeger engineer, better just to sit back and enjoy the ride. :-) Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


As much as I hate to post a negative, the simple fact is that they appear to have no officially confirmed crush depth.

I've read through every source I can think off; the movie script, the screenplay, the official novelisation, the "making of" book and the various interviews given by the staff and crew. Short of an out-of-the-blue word-of-god answer from the Writer or Director, the best conclusion I can draw is that the Jaegers were proofed to work in depths up to (and including) 36,000 feet, as evidence by them actually doing so in the film.

Beyond that, we only have assumption and guesswork.

Having procured a better copy of the official tie-in novelisation, I can confirm that the maximum operating depth of a normal Class I and Class II Jaeger is approximately 13,000 to 21,000 feet, a depth described as "abyssal". Several Jaegers (notably Gypsy Danger and Cherno Alpha) are evidently capable of operating a greater depths, below the 21,000 feet mark and presumably up to and including the 36,000 feet needed to penetrate the Pacific Breach. This is why they were pre-selected for Operation Pifall:

Cherno Alpha's Conn-Pod is torso-mounted to accommodate cranial expansion for incendiary fuel supply and energy storage. Designed for long-range patrols in the hostile environments of Russia's Bering and Arctic coastlines. Suggest Cherno Alpha be designated mission alternate to carry nuclear payload in Operation Pitfall, as its physical durability at abyssal depths will exceed other available Jaegers.


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