Military Shreds Old Fighter Jets

Parts from "Top Gun" planes were landing in the wrong hands
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2007 5:32 PM CDT
One of the mothballed F-14 Tomcat fighter jets at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Monday, June 11, 2007, in Tucson, Ariz., awaits demolition. The Defense Department is taking new security steps and paying...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US military is paying a contractor to destroy its retired fleet of F-14 fighter jets, after evidence surfaced that Iran had been acquiring the old parts and was intending to rebuild the planes, reports the AP. “There were things getting to the bad guys,” the contractor says. In the 1970s, Iran--then an ally--bought the jets from the US.

Known as the Tomcat, the F-14 was immortalized in the Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun." The Pentagon is now requiring that scraps from the plane be scrutinized after demolition, to make sure nothing useful remains. One part that has proved too strong to be shredded is the landing gear, which must be cut by hand using a demolition torch. (Read more US military stories.)