O Joy. Now It's Fake Weapons Parts from China

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Whose bright idea is it to outsource our weapons manufacturing to China?
Given China’s abysmal track record in counterfeit products — including fake pet food (that killed American dogs and cats), fake drugs, fake milk and infant formula (that have killed Chinese babies), and fake rice (mixed with plastic pellets, I kid you not) — having U.S. weapons parts made in China is just asking for trouble.
Yesterday, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, we are told that the Pentagon’s supply chain is “inundated” with suspect counterfeit electronics, mostly from China, which can “possibly” endanger the lives of our troops.
Donna Cassata reports from the Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2011, that company executives, a Defense Department official, government investigator and a representative from the semiconductor industry testified before the committee about a “ticking time bomb” of suspect counterfeit electronics ending up in weapons system. They described counterfeiters operating openly in Chinese provinces with Beijing unwilling to crack down on the deception.
Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the committee, said, “The failure of a single electronic part can leave a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine vulnerable at the worst possible time. A flood of counterfeit electronic parts has made it a lot harder to have confidence that won’t happen.”
The counterfeit weapons parts are mixed with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. That practice is called “sprinkling”.
The committee’s ongoing investigation found about 1,800 cases of suspect counterfeit electronics being sold to the Pentagon. The total number of parts in these cases topped 1 million. By the semiconductor industry’s estimates, counterfeiting costs $7.5 billion a year in lost revenue and about 11,000 U.S. jobs.
Richard J. Hillman, an official with the Government Accountability Office, told the committee that they created a fictitious company to investigate counterfeit parts, purchasing them through the Internet. They were able to buy 13 parts and after analysis of seven found that none was authentic.

USAF C-17 Globemaster

The committee investigators found that counterfeit or suspect electronic parts were installed or delivered to the military for several weapons systems, including military aircraft such as the Air Force’s C-17 and the Marine Corps’ CH-46 helicopter, as well as the Army’s Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defense system.


THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense is a U.S. Army system to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact. THAAD was designed to hit Scuds and similar weapons, but also has a limited capability against ICBMs.
Missing from the long list of witnesses at the hours-plus hearing was a representative from China. Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the panel wrote the Chinese ambassador but he declined to send someone to testify. Instead, China’s foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing “attaches great importance to and has actively promoted cooperation in fighting fake and shoddy goods with competent authorities of other countries….” Blah, blah, blah.

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0 responses to “O Joy. Now It's Fake Weapons Parts from China

  1. Big freakin’ surprise…not! It’s one thing, (even as unacceptable as it is), that they put out cheaply made products and ship them here… But this is, without a doubt beyond acceptable!
    They don’t care if they are mish-mashing parts and defective. And in some ways, I can almost picture them laughing about it. I mean let’s face it, these are the same people who leave babies in the road, and walk on by…. jmho

  2. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for exposing this careless attention towards the lives and welfare of our military personnel and service men and women. This is unconscienable! And they probably have only tipped the iceburg, so to speak, with 1,800 cases! I wonder what their solution is to stop this deception?

  3. typical seeing as we have fake leadership in the white house. this is just so much more incompetence emerging from the cesspool of the inept obama administration. somehow the msm will blame bush or the republicans and the sheeple will go baaaah.

  4. We had this problem with medical electronics…and usually had to pay 5 to 10 times the price for medical grade (authentic) parts….and then had to test the stuffing out of them to confirm that they were viable .The best advice is to always have a backup unit….and another backup unit. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about such things anymore, but a trip to the hospital is rather traumatic and I refuse to
    fly because I’ve been exposed to quite enough radiation. 🙂

  5. If it cost a 7,5 billion dollars to rectify the probleem why not give it to silicon valley? It is in your own backyard. The 7.5 billion dollars fixing the probleem will be to good use. They will be working hard in California, keeps the unemployment down.Everybody pays their income tax, the state’s deficit comes down wow!!. Not only will all be happy, but so Uncle Sam, the anti missiles and the fliers too feel safe. We like to be safe in Canada too you know!! So why go to China stop the deception????

    • OM,
      Short answer: Defense contractors like Boeing, like other “transnational” or multinational corporations, are not nationalists or patriots. They care only about their bottom line. So, to save labor costs, they outsource export production to low-labor-cost countries like China.
      But it’s not just the corporations. It’s also a government and union problem. The federal govt should make it a rule that defense contractors, who are paid by American taxpayers, must do their production in the United States, employing Americans. And labor unions must curb their demands and not price American workers out of the market.

  6. You’re so right…follow the money.The contracts go to the corporation that can best satisfy the DOD’s demands and Congress’ desires but still produce a workable system and a profit to their shareholders at the least cost to the taxpayer and used by men and women in the field where their life might hang on whether a cut-rate electronic component functions in the heat of battle….
    Hobson’s choice

  7. more to the point (and bottom line )
    it’s a matter of liability : soldiers can’t sue but patients CAN and DO …which is why medical care in the US costs twice what it does anywhere else in the world that uses modern technology. Generals,Admirals and Congress calculate their equipment failure rate in terms of acceptable losses whereas the medical establishment premise is a zero acceptable “accidental/attrition” failure rate .
    Ah,well… end of rant, and I didn’t even get to the differences in manufacturing standards and costs because of governmental rules regs and restrictions (electronics being one of the most polluting industries in the world) in this country that manufacturers avoid by having their factories elsewhere.


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