USAF Using CounterFeit Chinese Electronics Parts

Bootleg electronic components have found their way onto the US Air
Force’s aircraft. An investigation by the Congress has exposed
counterfeit electronic parts being used by major aircraft corporations
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.

The two-year probe was conducted by the US Senate Armed Services
Committee. Overall, 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronic parts being
used have been exposed.

The Committee concluded that a huge number of fake electronic parts
being used in the production of military aircraft, night vision devices,
radio stations and GPS navigation modules pose a serious threat to
national security.

Among others, the use of counterfeit electronic parts has been proven on
the Alenia C-27J Spartan medium-sized military transport aircraft,
Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon long-range surveillance and reconnaissance
aircraft, Lockheed Martin’s turboprop military transport aircraft C-130J
Super Hercules and Sikorsky’s SH-60B Seahawk helicopter used by the US
Navy.

About 70 per cent of the fake electronic microchips were traced as being
produced in China; the rest came from Canada and Great Britain.

The investigation revealed a scheme whereby large-scale producers bought
counterfeit electronic chips from subcontractors who have established
links with pirates.

Electronic counterfeit is a multibillion business in China. This has led
to counterfeit electronic parts flooding the market and being traded
openly.


The American administration attempted to make Chinese authorities pay
closer attention to the issue, but has failed so far. Still, Washington
is not idle. On December 31, 2011 President Barack Obama signed the
National Defense Authorization Act. This aims to prevent counterfeit
electronic components from flooding the US and its armed forces.

The US Senate Armed Services Committee report says the use of electronic
devices not only endangers those servicemen using them, but in the end
leads to higher budgetary expenditure. The unfolding scandal threatens
the Pentagon with a real crisis, undermining plans to considerably cut
military expenditure in the following 10 years.

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