F. Michael Maloof
A U.S. Senate investigation has confirmed that more and more counterfeit electronics are being found in U.S. defense systems, and they don’t just come directly from China anymore; they also are coming from suppliers in Great Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products.
“The defense industry’s reliance on unvetted independent distributors to supply electronic parts for critical military applications results in unacceptable risks to national security and the safety of U.S. military personnel,” the investigative report said.
It pointed out that the military depends on the performance and reliability of “small, incredibly sophisticated electronic components.” Fighter pilots rely on night vision systems, enabled by transistors the size of paper clips, to identify targets.
“The failure of a single electronic part can leave a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine vulnerable at the worst possible time,” the report said. “Unfortunately, a flood of counterfeit electronic parts has made it a lot harder to prevent that from happening.”
The problem of faked or counterfeit products from China, as well as contaminated products, are issues on which WND has reported for years.
In fact, WND columnist Phyllis Schlafly wrote last year about fake computer chips that were being purchased by the U.S. military for use in U.S. warplanes, ships and communications networks. She wrote that malfunctions traced to the problem were being reported as early as 2005. And targeted were computers aboard U.S. F-15 fighter jets at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
Even at that point, officials said at least 15 percent of the spare and replacement chips the Pentagon was buying were counterfeit. Officials in the National Intelligence Agency and the FBI both expressed concern then that such fakes could let the Chinese gain access to secure systems inside the United States, too.