Counterfeit Chinese Parts Slipping Into U.S. Military Aircraft: Report
Counterfeit electronic parts from China are "flooding" into critical
U.S. military systems, including special operations helicopters and surveillance planes, and are putting the nation's troops at risk, according to a new U.S. Senate committee report.
A year-long investigation conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee found more than one million suspected counterfeit parts made their way into the Department of Defense's supply chain and were bound for use by "critical" military systems,
according to the 70-plus-page document released Monday. In addition to
Navy helicopters and surveillance planes, the parts were slated to be
put into the Air Force's newest cargo planes.
"The failure of a single electronic part can leave a soldier, sailor,
airman, or Marine vulnerable at the worst possible time," the report
says. "Unfortunately, a flood of counterfeit electronic parts has made
it a lot harder to prevent that from happening."
Chinese companies were identified as the "primary source" of the
counterfeit goods and the Chinese government was criticized for its
alleged disinterest in cracking down on counterfeiting there. The report
said that Chinese companies take discarded electronic parts from all
over the world, remove any identifying marks, wash and refurbish them,
and then resell them as brand-new – a practice that poses a "significant
risk" to the performance of U.S. military systems.
But the committee also pointed a finger at the Pentagon and U.S.-based
defense contractors that rely on "hundreds of unvetted independent
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