The Boeing company plans to stop producing its F/A-18 Super Hornet, the iconic aircraft that is flown by Tom Cruise’s character Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the latest Top Gun movie.
Manufacturer Boeing said the fighter jet will stop being made in late 2025 after a final delivery to the U.S. Navy.
Production could be extended to 2027 if the jet is ordered by an international customer, Boeing said.
Despite the decision to cease production, the firm said it would continue to service the aircraft through the mid-2030s, providing “advanced capabilities development and upgrades… for decades.”
Constructed in St Louis, Missouri, Boeing said axing the F/A-18 allows it to focus on next-generation crewed and uncrewed aircraft.
READ MORE about the time an F-18 was blown overboard at sea.
Steve Nordlund, Vice President of Boeing Air Dominance and St Louis site leader, said “building fighter aircraft is in our DNA.”
“As we invest in and develop the next era of capability, we are applying the same innovation and expertise that made the F/A-18 a workhorse for the US Navy and air forces around the world for nearly 40 years.”
F/A-18s can reach speeds of 1.8mach and are also flown by the Royal Australian Air Force. They have a range of 2,361km and come armed with Paveway Laser Guided Bombs as well as Maverick missiles.