By: Henry J. Reske
Counterfeit Chinese electronics have found their way into U.S. military weapons systems. A congressional investigation has found at least 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics in weapons and the number of suspect parts could exceed 1 million, The Washington Post reported.
“We cannot allow our national security to depend on electronic scrap salvaged from trash heaps by Chinese counterfeiters,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told the Post.
The findings are based on defense contractors’ records, and Levin contends that they represent “just the tip of the iceberg.”
China was the source in more than 70 percent of the cases when the parts were traced, according to Senate staffers. About 20 percent of the other cases led to Britain and Canada, resale points for fake Chinese parts, the Post reported.
The parts, often salvaged from old electronic components, are unreliable.
“We can’t tolerate the risk of a ballistic missile interceptor failing to hit its target, a helicopter pilot unable to fire his missiles or any other mission failure because of a counterfeit part,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told the Post.
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