Hot-shot navy pilot Pete Mitchell is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training. Here he vies with other top navy pilots for the coveted "Top Gun" award. When not flying his plane in dogfight training sessions or playing beach volleyball with his fellow pilots, Mitchell carries on a romance with civilian consultant Charlotte Blackwood. Through a series of unfortunate events, Mitchell's confidence is shaken and he is worried that he may have lost his nerve. But, a tense international crisis gives Mitchell a chance to redeem himself and prove that he is indeed worthy of being the "Top Gun."