Environmentalists who opposed this film being shot in the Blue Mountains Wilderness Area sued the film producers and government department that issued the filming permit. The court found that the filming permit had been issued illegally, and ordered the producers to stop shooting in the wilderness area immediately. An alternative location had to be found.
A photo of one of the F/A-37 Talon mock-ups, snapped on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln during filming was published in an Australian aviation magazine, claiming that the Talon was an actual prototype aircraft being tested by the US Navy.
Early in the movie, the crew looks for debris on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. This is known as the FOD (Foreign Object Debris) walk, and it is an essential flight safety procedure on all aircraft carriers. Ingesting even a small piece of debris can cause jet engine failure, endangering the plane and its crew.
For most of the flight scenes, the artists at Digital Domain used "EnGen" (Environment Generator) to create the virtual landscapes. An earlier version of the program, called "Terragen", is on-line available for free.
Capt. Cummings mentions that the UCAV has a pulse detonation engine and hybrid scramjet engines. Pulse detonation engines and scramjet engines have been successfully tested, but as of 2012 neither of these technologies has been deployed in any known production aircraft.
When Capt. Marshfield and Capt. Cummings walk the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), the patch on the front of Capt. Marshfield's jacket says USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), one of the aircraft carriers used during filming.
When Lt. Gannon in Talon 1 is missle locked by the pursuing Russian fighter, he gives the voice command "release chafe and flare." The correct term is chaff not chafe. Ejecting chaff (pieces of lightweight foil usually aluminum) creates a cloud of tiny targets that can fool a radar guided missile as the targeted jet radically moves away. The flare reference is correct and is a defense against heat seeking missiles.
A scene where the UCAV launches a strike against and destroys a high-rise building in Burma was edited before release because the filmmakers found the initial footage too closely resembled the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in the 9/11 terror attacks.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Many of the scenes in the film, including the ones set in North Korea were set in Australia. You can see eucalyptus trees in these scenes, which are native only to Australia. Australia isn't the only place that has eucalyptus trees are also found in northern California