Report: Counterfeit Chinese Electronics in U.S. Military Aircraft Jeopardize National Security
May 23, 2012 9:14 AM
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Counterfeit electronics and military hardware risks American lives
It would be reasonable to expect the United States military contractors building the aircraft our military uses to defend the nation to be absolutely sure electronics they use in the aircraft are legitimate and don't suffer from any security issues. However, a Senate report indicates that this not always the case. The Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report documenting the year-long investigation launched by Democratic Chairman Carl Levin and ranking Republican John McCain into counterfeit Chinese electronics in military aircraft.
The report spans 112 pages shows that 1,800 cases of bogus counterfeit parts were discovered during the investigation. The counterfeit Chinese parts were discovered in the Air Force's largest cargo plane, helicopters used by special ops soldiers, and Navy surveillance aircraft.
Levin said, "[The report] outlines how this flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs."
“It underscores China’s failure to police the blatant market in counterfeit parts — a failure China should rectify,” he continued.
The Senate report also notes that the Chinese government wouldn't issue visas to Senate committee staff that wanted to travel to Asia as part of the investigation.
reports that one Chinese embassy official said the issue was sensitive and a negative report could damage relations between the United States and China.
While the source of the counterfeit electronics was overwhelmingly determined to be China, the report does say that contractors and other authorities in the United States are partly to blame for failing to detect fake parts and routinely failing to report suspected counterfeit goods.
Among the fake and counterfeit parts the investigation discovered were Electromagnetic Interference Filters that were used in night missions and in the operation of military arms such as the Hellfire missile used on certain Navy helicopters. Counterfeit memory chips were also found in the display systems used by the C-17 Globemaster III and the C-130J military cargo aircraft. Additional counterfeit parts were discovered in refurbished ice detection modules on the Navy P-8A Poseidon used for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare by the Navy.
The SAS first
the problem of counterfeit electronics and military hardware last year.
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RE: Not off the shelf components
5/23/2012 11:35:01 AM
RF filters and display controllers aren't exactly James Bond secret agent level technology... Probably not ice detectors either. Almost all electronic components that go into military hardware also have uses in civilian tech somewhere.
RE: Not off the shelf components
5/23/2012 2:29:28 PM
Pretty much. I've worked the B1-B for three years, and hear all sorts of stories about how busted components in our lab used to be replaced by off the shelf parts from the local radioshack.
Point being, remember the majority of our tech is REALLY old and proven technology.
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