Over 30 years after graduating from Top Gun,[a] United States Navy Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is a test pilot. Despite Maverick's many distinguished achievements, repeated insubordination has kept him from flag rank. His friend and former Top Gun rival, Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, is commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and often protects Maverick from being grounded. Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain plans to shut down Maverick's hypersonic "Darkstar" scramjet program in favor of funding drones. To save the program from cancellation, Maverick changes the flight plan in the upcoming test from the Mach 9 to Mach 10 to meet the program's contract specification. However, the prototype is destroyed when Maverick pushes beyond Mach 10. Iceman again saves Maverick's career by sending him to NAS North Island for his next assignment.