What is the enemy country in Top Gun: Maverick?

spoiler warning

If you see Top Gun: Maverick At some point during the past week, your hands may still be trembling from the adrenaline rush, and your eyes still fill with tears after an end that made many American men wish to fix things with their father before he passed away. What is this movie.

The main task in dissidentAside from the title character’s confrontation with his death, a group of impossibly handsome pilots–possessing a rare combination of precision, technology, and physique–to destroy a secret and illegal uranium enrichment facility in an unnamed country. Only those pilots, under the tutelage of the Maverick, could carry out this raid. Maybe even them, as Vice Admiral Bevesh Jon Hamm frequently reminds the audience.

The Better Movies are the greatest recruiting tool for the Department of Defense since the American Soldier Act, so naturally the movie doesn’t mention Maverick’s nuclear program and his students who were ordered to eliminate it. Doing so would provoke a diplomatic quarrel from which the country would gain nothing.

But like Maverick, Rooster, Glad and their comrades, I was given a mission. My editor came to me, you idiot who wrote a long column six months ago About how Russia is no longer the technical enemy it used to be, confident that I can identify the unknown villain in Top Gun: Maverick. Specifically, I can do this before government agents appear to take me away to unknown parts to undermine the foreign relations of the United States.

Well, mission accomplished. enemy in Top Gun: Maverick It is Iran. This is why.

Since nothing else is known about the film, the mission brief details make Iran the most likely country. The target is an incomplete uranium enrichment site, eliminating Russia, China and North Korea from the list of targets, since those countries already have nuclear weapons – thousands of them in the case of Russia. Not to mention the fact that any attack on any of those nations would instantly escalate into a major conflict.

Admiral Bates (Charles Parnell) says the nuclear facility is also being developed in violation of a number of treaties; This removes from consideration India, Pakistan, and Israel, all of whom have developed (or are suspected of developing) nuclear weapons but have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (Purpose of the Non-Proliferation Treatywhich came into force in 1970, restricted ownership of nuclear weapons to the five countries that actually possessed them: the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom)

Events depicted in dissident It wouldn’t be the first time a country had used a small group of fighters to blow up a competing nuclear program; In 1981, a group of Israeli Air Force F-16s destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq, in a raid known as Operation Opera. (One of the pilots, Ilan Ramon, later became an astronaut and was killed in 2003 when the space shuttle Colombia was destroyed) dissident Mission similar to that, only multiplied by the Death Star trench running from star Wars: New hopewith some added parental anxiety.

But the site’s real boon is the make-up of enemy air power: a mix of modern stealth fighters and Cold War-era missile interceptors, including a handful of F-14s. Let’s deal with that one group at a time.

bogeyman fighter in dissident It is frequently referred to as a “fifth-generation fighter”, a term used to describe combat aircraft that meet certain criteria: the ability to fly supersonic; Stealth technology and so-called “super maneuverability,” or the ability to direct the engine’s thrust to perform maneuvers beyond what would be possible under normal aerodynamics. These fighters, as the movie depicts, usually outperformed 20th century designs such as the F/A-18.

One of America’s fifth-generation fighters, the F-35, was briefly photographed in dissident, but was not selected to fly on the final mission. (As committed dissident Is authenticity, the most believable thing about it is that when a mission of historical significance appears to the world, no one suggests taking The $1.6 trillion stealth fighter that doesn’t work. Lockheed Martin has at least got its Skunk Works logo on its Maverick hypersonic experimental aircraft.)

Original villain plane Better It was a fictional MiG-28, which was actually an American F-5 fighter with black paint. villain plane in dissident It has never been named, but is essentially identical in appearance and capability to Russia’s best air superiority fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57. Su-57 was offered for international sale, So far without any takersHowever, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) has purchased Russian-made aircraft in the past, Including MiG-29. It is not unreasonable to believe that Iran could purchase the Su-57 at some point in the future.

IRIAF is somewhat conciliatory in composition. Its inventory includes Russian, French, British, and even American aircraft. Purchased directly from manufacturers, captured from Iraq during the first Gulf War, or – crucially for the purposes of dissidentThey were leftovers before the 1979 revolution.

Before the current regime came to power, Iran was a kingdom whose leader, the Shah of Iran, enjoyed military support from the United States, including the sale of weapons and aircraft. When the Shah was overthrown, the Iranian Air Force (formerly called the IIAF)—and continued, even in 2022—continued to fly those American planes. This inventory includes only 747 converted To be used as an air carrierWhich is pretty cool, if not so relevant to the movie. But it also houses a few dozen F-14s.

The hostile nation’s unnamed stockpile of old F-14s appears in a satellite image in the early minutes of dissidentAnd that alone should have been a gift. Unlike most other American fighters, including the F/A-18 and F-35, the F-14 has never picked up foreign buyers. In fact, a handful of the F-14s flown by IRIAF are the only examples of the type ever exported abroad. They successfully flew against Iraqi fighters in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, and are currently the only F-14 units still operating, since the United States retired its famous fighter-interceptor in 2006.

It must have taken a huge plot to get the Maverick back into the cockpit of the plane that made him famous, but this invention is there in real life. The only realistic way Maverick could get an airworthy F-14 today is to land in Iran after bombing a nuclear facility, infiltrate an air base with another pilot—preferably the son of his longtime best friend—and steal one from IRIAF. Frankly, it would be a mistake to write a screenplay not to take advantage of these real-world circumstances.

There is always the possibility of that dissident I just got inspired by real-life Iranian F-14 squadrons without any sense of suggesting anything. But if that’s the case, how do you explain the carrier’s Maverick radio communication as coming without a forward landing gear – which we saw damaged on takeoff – or a rear hook, which wasn’t shown? Carrier-powered aircraft pull a hook behind to grab a blocking cable on the carrier’s aircraft deck, which stops the aircraft before it takes off from the bow of the ship. But the Iranian F-14s have been modified for ground operations, so you’ll find that the tail hook has useless extra weight. They will be the only F-14s present without a tail hook.

Now, the enemy’s air inventory is not a perfect Iran match. Crypto-Su-57s carry a dark paint job with a red bird insignia, as opposed to the lighter IRIAF and circular red, white and green colors. and Iran Fly copies of the American Cobra helicopternot the Russian-made Mi-24 that chased the Maverick on the snow.

And talking about snow. Does the actual mission site, with its huge conifers, a towering bridge and mountains miles from the sea, feel like Iran to you? It is true that the actual scenery looks more from the Alps than in the Middle East. And nothing would excite me more than discovering it in Better Universe, Gladio operation Never, Italy became a communist country in the 1970s, and by the late 2010s it was flying MiGs and pursuing a covert nuclear program as a rogue state. But that seems unlikely for such a straightforward film.

True, the mountainous terrain does not resemble Iran, because it is not. it’s california, near lake tahoe. But let’s take the geographical question in general. Where in the world should this mission be moved from an aircraft carrier?

If the rogue nuclear power had been on mainland Europe, the attack aircraft would have taken off from the NATO airstrip, most likely the Air Force planes. If the hostile country was North Korea, the planes would have taken off from South Korea. If the enemy country was in the Caucasus, the logical place to attack from it would be Turkey, where the US Air Force maintains a base. An attack anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula would have been more appropriate to launch an attack from an air base in Saudi Arabia.

However, Iran can be reached by sea from the Persian Gulf. And while 30 years of CNN films and war paint a picture of a flat, hot and sandy Middle East, Iran has many snow-capped mountains that could resemble a scenario. dissident depicted. There are few places in the world where the terrain shifts abruptly from sea to mountain as seen in it dissidentBut Iran is getting very close.

Jabal Khamen Reserve, in the Zagros Mountains in southern Iran, looks like something you’d expect to find in Austria or Colorado, and is comparable in altitude. Are the Zagros Mountains right at the edge of the sea like in the movie? No, but take one example: Kuh-e Khami, which is more than 10,000 feet high and about 50 miles as the crow flies from the Persian Gulf. Maverick’s Death Star’s trench-operating mission plan requires pilots to cuddle the deck at speeds over 650 knots — called 750 miles per hour — for two minutes and 30 seconds. You can’t get from the water to Kuh-e Khami in that time frame that fast, but you can get there in a hair in four minutes. Put chalk in the other 90s to decorate Hollywood.

All the evidence clearly points to a single conclusion that is almost impossible to trust. But what other country has a history of controversial nuclear testing, the air force that flies a mixture of Russian and American fighters – including the F-14 – and has mountains where a Transonic fighter jet can reach from the sea in less than five minutes? It’s best to take the lesson Rooster learns at the end of the movie: Don’t overthink it.