- (Photo: Reuters/U.S. Marine Corps/DVIDS/Lance Cpl. William Waterstreet/Handout)
Eight F-16 fighter het engines have been stolen from an Air Force Base in Israel, according to reports, sparking criticism and suspicion that the incident could be an inside job.
The Serious Crimes Unit of Israel's Military Police has launched an investigation into the incident.
The multi-million dollar jet engines each weigh approximately 1.5 ton, making the disappearance even more extraordinary.
The organization needed to steal such large machines that weigh so much has sparked rumors that it was an inside job, and that line of investigation is reportedly being followed up as well by investigators.
After an initial assessment investigators have confirmed that they have found no sign of any security breach, making the rumors of an inside job even more likely.
Some have become highly suspicious how so many large jet engines could have been removed without anyone noticing. However, officials in Israel have described the engines as "old" and suggested that they might have been stolen and sold off for scrap metal parts.
Some have been concerned by the breach, suggesting that various groups would love to get their hands on an F-16 jet engine, to study the technology and utilize it for their own gains.
Defense industry expert Richard Aboulafia said, "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."
Pentagon officials have made little comment on the matter when asked about the stolen F-16 fighter jet engines.
Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller, acting as a spokesperson for the Pentagon has said, "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."
Officials have said that this is not the first theft from IDF bases, and earlier this year several crates of ammunition were stolen by thieves in SUVs.