Several F16 jet engines stolen in Israel

first_imgThe engine of an F-16 fighter jet weighs around 3,700 pounds. Moving one is no small task, so to find out several have been stolen from an Israel Defense Force base is sure to have a few people scratching their heads, especially as no one seems to know what happened to them.Although an inside job is suspected, the Israeli government doesn’t seem too fussed about the theft. The engines are old and no longer in use, and they believe they were stolen to be sold for their value as scrap metal.That may be the case, but US defense industry research groups and think tanks have been quick to point out the theft may actually be quite serious. Designing and manufacturing a jet engine remains a very complex process, and the F-16 engines are thought to be more advanced than anything either China or Iran currently has.The worry is that even if the engines were stolen for their scrap value, the group who stole them may get a better offer from a government interested in taking the engines apart and learning how to make them. That could knock years off research and development of new fighter jets for certain countries keen to increase their military power as quickly as possible.Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year eight F-15 and F-16 engines were stolen from a base in Tel Nof. It could even be the same people carrying out this new theft, meaning they are organized and capable of transporting the engines quietly to whoever chooses to buy them.For the moment, the response seems quite muted. Israel just thinks they are being broken apart for scrap. The Pentagon believes all questions regarding the theft should be referred to officials in the Israeli government.More at DefenseTechlast_img read more