Besides being plagued by cost and operational concerns, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 multirole, stealth warplane has been targeted by hackers, who tried to steal secrets of the Joint Strike Fighter, for years.
Most of times, cyber attackers were believed to be Chinese, collecting details that could be useful for copying what is believed to be the Western most advanced military plane.
However, it seems not only China is interested in the F-35.
DefenseNews has given the news that a man has been charged with attempting to send F-35 blueprints to Iran: Mozaffar Khazaee, a naturalized US citizen since 1991, was arrested on Jan. 9 at Newark airport, NJ, following the first flight of a trip to Tehran.
Facing 10 years in jail, Khazaee was charged for “transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion, or fraud.”
In November he had attempted to send “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material for the F-35,” from Connecticut to Hamadan.
The “package” contained several documents, diagrams and blueprints most of which export-controlled, that Khazaee had collect from the company (most probably Pratt & Whitney or Rolls Royce) he worked for until August 2013.
What Iran would do with such technical details is difficult to say. Maybe design an actual engine for the infamous F-313 Qaher stealth fighter
Image credit: Lockheed Martin