Report confirms ‘84,000 suspect electronic parts installed’. 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.
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 problem with faked Chinese electronic components being installed in U.S. military systems is far more widespread that originally thought. They also are coming from suppliers in Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products. The Senate panel tracked some 1,800 cases of suspected counterfeit parts through the supply chain. It found that U.S. defense contractors had purchased many of the critical components from U.S. companies who in turn obtained them from Chinese firms but never subjected them to testing before handing them over to the U.S. military as part of their contract.
Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said, “We do not want a $12 million missile defense interceptor’s reliability compromised by a $2 counterfeit part.” 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. While L-3 Display Systems told Alenia after discovering the problem, neither L-3 nor Alenia told the U.S. Air Force for nearly a year after it was discovered that the C-27Js were affected by the suspect parts.
According to the Senate report, L-3 Display Systems had bought the suspect memory chips from an electronics distributor in California. That distributor had bought the chips from Hong Dark Electronic Trade, a company in Shenzhen, China. In fact, the Senate investigators had uncovered the fact that L-3 had purchased tens of thousands of Hong Dark electronic components that had entered the U.S. defense supply chain. The U.S. Air Force had reported that more than 84,000 counterfeit electronic parts purchased from Hong Dark. “Counterfeit electronic parts pose long-term reliability problems, and reliability is a major driver in the overall cost of a weapon system,” the Senate report said. The problem of coping with potentially counterfeit parts stems from a policy decision that was made years ago during the Clinton administration to give priority to off-the-shelf components as a way to reduce cost. But they also were supposed to be tested and current investigations indicate that such testing isn’t always occurring.
The issue appears to be connected to “unvetted independent distributors who supply electronic parts for critical military applications.” The problem of faked or counterfeit products from China, as well as contaminated products, are issues on which WND has reported for years.
Officials said at least 15 percent of the spare and replacement chips the Pentagon was buying were counterfeit. “The U.S. bought 59,000 counterfeit microchips from China for use in our warships, planes, missile and antimissile systems but fortunately were discovered they are fake in time. How many didn’t we catch?” One Senate investigator even discovered that electronic components had been harvested from “e-waste” and sometimes were sold on public sidewalks and in public markets in China.
There also are whole factories in China with up to 15,000 people employed for the purpose of counterfeiting products. During a one-month period, 17 of 28 products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission were Chinese imports.
Hammock stands, Toy castles, Essentials for Kids Jewelry Sets, Magnetic Building Sets, Easy-Bake Ovens, portable baby swings, swimming pool ladders that break, faulty baby carriers, circular saws with faulty blade guards oscillating tower fans, exploding air pumps, oil-filled electric heaters, notebook computer batteries. Chinese products ranging from pet food to seafood intended for humans. Found products intended for human consumption tainted with pesticides, carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs. China was found to be raising most of its fish products – intended for the U.S. – in water contaminated with raw sewage. Deadly contaminant found in Chinese-made toothpaste. lead-poisoning cases,
Imports from China were recalled by the CPSC twice as often as products made everywhere else in the world, WND reported how China was shipping to the U.S. honey tainted with a potentially life-threatening antibiotic.