'Top Gun: Maverick', F-18 Fighter Aircraft Apparently Also Used By Malaysia

'Top Gun: Maverick', F-18 Fighter Aircraft Apparently Also Used By Malaysia
Top Gun: Maverick with actor Tom Cruise

International Military - Released on May 24, this blockbuster film with the theme of the military world has become the talk of audiences around the world. The film, starring the famous actor Tom Cruise, is predicted to be the highest-grossing film he has ever starred in. the film is entitled Top Gun: Maverick and managed to reap a profit of up to Rp. 280.6 billion.

Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel to 1986's Top Gun, in which Maverick a.k.a Tom Cruise flies the F-14 Tomcat fighter. And for the film that was released in 2022, it wasn't only Tom Cruise who stole the public's attention, but also the fighter he used, the F-18 Super Hornet.

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As the main star in the film Top Gun: Maverick, the F-18 Super Hornet is a fighter aircraft made by Boeing Defense, Space and Security. Where the United States Navy (US) has operated 540 Super Hornet for its maritime fleet, reported Defense Security Asia.

The F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft was built to replace the F-18 Hornet which is currently being used by the Malaysian air force. It is known that their Air Force or better known as the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has operated eight F-18s since 1997. The age of the F-18 fighter aircraft belonging to the RMAF is almost 25 years.

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"The F-18 will remain in service until 2035-2040 during the extensive SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) program," said RMAF Commander General Tan Sri Ackbal Abdul Samad. SLEP or Service Life Extension Program itself is an effort to extend the service life or age of fighter aircraft.

Although not exactly young anymore, the RMAF's F-18 has gone through several upgrade programs during its service. This is done so that the F-18's capabilities will always be relevant to the needs of modern combat. One of the significant upgrade programs of the RMAF's F-18 took place in 2011, under the US Engineering Change Proposal.

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And this program ran through 2015, working at Boeing's facilities in St. Louis, Missouri as well as in Butterworth. The essence of this update program is to increase the attack capability of the RMAF's F-18s to carry out air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

These include the use of the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), the AIM-9X air-to-air missile, a new GPS system and a more modern targeting system. With a number of improvement efforts, the RMAF's F-18 is considered comparable to the more modern F-18 Super Hornet.

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