WASHINGTON – Fake electronic components from China have been discovered in thermal weapons sights delivered to the U.S. Army on mission computers for the Missile Defense Agency’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missiles and on military aircraft, including several models of helicopters and the P-8A-Poseidon, according to federal investigators.
Suspected electronic parts were found in the Forward Looking InfraRed, or FLIR, Systems being used on the Navy’s SH-60-B. The counterfeit parts were delivered by Raytheon, which alerted the Navy.
The military aircraft that have been affected include the SH-60B, AH-64 and CH-46 helicopters; and the C-17, C-130J, C-27J and P-8A Poseidon airplanes
A defense subcontractor in Texas had sold the components to Raytheon. The components prior to that sale traveled through four states and three countries, originating with a company called Huajie Electronics Ltd in Shenzhen, China.
Suspect parts also were found in the C-130J and C-27J, two military cargo planes equipped with display units that provide the pilot information on aircraft performance, engine status, fuel use, location and warning messages, according to documentation from Senate investigators.
The display units were manufactured by L-3 Display Systems, a division of L-3 Communications. L-3 Display Systems manufactures the display units for Lockheed Martin, which is the prime contractor for the C-130J. For the C-27J, L-3 Display Systems manufactures the display units for Alenia Aeronautica, a subcontractor to L-3 Integrated Systems.
Display Systems, however, learned that a memory chip used in the display units was a suspect counterfeit. By the time it was noticed, however, the company had installed counterfeit components in more than 500 display units, including in units for the C-27J, the C-130J and C-17 aircraft, and the CH-46 helicopter used by the Marine Corps.
Vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment, a key Senate committee has reported.
A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee said.
More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China, the report said.
It blamed weaknesses in the US supply chain, and China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market.
The failure of a key part could pose safety and national security risks and lead to higher costs for the Pentagon, the committee said.
US servicemen rely on a variety of “small, incredibly sophisticated electronic components” found in night vision systems, radios and GPS devices and the failure of a single part could put a soldier at risk, the report said.
It highlighted suspect counterfeit parts in SH-60B helicopters used by the Navy, in C-130J and C-27J cargo planes and in the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon plane.
After China, the UK and Canada were found to be the next-largest source countries for fake parts.
Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny”
The committee criticised China for failing to shut down counterfeit manufacturers and said that committee staff wanting to travel to China for the investigation had not been granted visas.
“Counterfeit electronic parts are sold openly in public markets in China,” the report said.
“Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny,” it added.
But the report said that use of Department of Defense programmes such as the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), designed to log suspected fake parts, were “woefully lacking”.
Between 2009 and 2010 the GIDEP only received 217 reports relating to suspected fake counterfeit components, the majority of which were filed by just six companies, it said. Only 13 reports came from government agencies.
Full article: China fake parts ‘used in US military equipment’ (BBC)
A fictitious company set up by U.S. government investigators bought 16 electronic parts for weapons from China online and every single item was counterfeit, according to a Government Accountability Office investigation as reported by Reuters.
The congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO) published the report at the behest of the Department of Defense (DOD) because “counterfeit parts—generally the misrepresentation of parts’ identity or pedigree—can seriously disrupt the DOD supply chain, harm weapon systems integrity, and endanger troops’ lives.”
To investigate the practice, GAO created a fictitious company and gained membership to two Internet platforms providing access to vendors selling military-grade electronic parts.
The company requested quotes from numerous vendors to purchase parts (“new in original packaging, not refurbished”) from three categories: (1) authentic part numbers for obsolete and rare parts; (2) authentic part numbers with postproduction date codes (date codes after the last date the part was manufactured); and (3) bogus, or fictitious, part numbers that are not associated with any authentic parts.
It turned out that 334 of 396 vendors who offered to sell parts to the fictitious company were from China. All 16 parts eventually purchased came from 13 China-based vendors and all were determined by an independent testing laboratory to be counterfeit.
It said it bought seven parts with authentic part numbers that were out of production, including parts used on the Air Force’s F-15 fighters, the Marine Corps’ V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and the Navy’s nuclear submarines. All of those parts failed inspection and were determined to be counterfeit.
It also purchased five parts with authentic part numbers that were stamped with date codes beyond the item’s last actual production date and all of those were determined to be counterfeit as well.
The agency also bought four parts with made-up numbers that are not associated with any authentic parts, which it said showed the willingness of the vendors “to supply parts that do not technically exist.”
The report noted that all 40 of the responses it received for the bogus part numbers also came from China, the GAO said.
Full article: REPORT: China Is Selling Tons Of Counterfeit Military Equipment To The Department Of Defense (Business Insider)