Eight F-16 engines were recently stolen from an Air Force Base in Israel, according to JTA.
Israel Defense Forces officials said the serious crimes unit of Israel’s Military Police has launched an investigation into the disappearance of the engines. Since each of the missing items weigh in at a staggering 1.5 tons, it’s currently believed the theft could have been an inside job.
Although a number of engines have been stolen over the past several days, officials said investigators have found no signs of a breech. The fact that the large fighter jet components were removed without anyone noticing has raised more than a few eyebrows.
Defense Tech is reporting that officials believe the “old” engines may have been sold for scrap. Although the IDF doesn’t feel the theft is a serious cause for concern, others feel the theft of eight American-built jet engines shouldn’t be treated lightly.
Defense industry expert Richard Aboulafia said certain groups would love nothing more than to study F-16 engine technology.
“They’re still more modern than anything in the Iranian air force inventory, and they would even be helpful to China in their jet engine development,” Aboulafia explained.
When asked to comment on the stolen F-16 fighter jet engines, Pentagon officials essentially had nothing to say on the matter.
“This is something you’ll want to most likely talk to the Israelis about. Obviously we have had a longstanding relationship with the Israelis and we’ll continue to,” spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller.
While officials said this was the first incident of its kind, thieves seem devoted to stealing equipment and material from IDF bases. In July, a group of bandits driving SUVs made off with several crates of ammunition from a military facility at Tze’elim.
As of this writing, it’s unknown who is responsible for stealing eight F-16 engines from an Israeli Air Force base.