Murphy's Law: Malaysia And The Missing Jet Engine


December 24, 2009: Malaysia is investigating 40 people (civilians and members of their air force) for complicity in the theft of a General Electric J85-21A jet engine in 2007. Two of these engines power the six F-5 fighters used by the air force. Packed for shipping, the engine would be a box about eight feet long and weighing half a ton. At first, the engine was believed shipped out of the country, from a Malaysian air base, and sold into the black market. It was thought that the most likely customer would be Iran, which would probably pay a million dollars, or more, for it. Iran has been under arms embargos for decades, and is desperate to obtain spare parts. Iran has about sixty F-5 fighters, purchased in the 1970s. Iran has used the F-5 as the model for domestically designed and built aircraft. So they are definitely in the market for J85-21A engines.

But on further investigation it was found that the engine probably never left the country, but was instead taken apart, and the components sold to a South American broker, or back to the Malaysian Air Force. The government has promised to punish those responsible, but has not named names. Corruption is a common problem in the region, and stealing spare parts, or money allocated for equipment maintenance, is common.



Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close