We already know that bootleg parts can cause all kinds of havoc on your gear. Most commonly are fires caused by cheap, knockoff power adapters like this; but this bit of news is disturbing on a whole other level. In a report by Business Week, a Senate committee has discovered at least 1 million Chinese counterfeit parts found inside US military aircraft currently deployed in war zones like Afghanistan. HOLY HELL WHY DIDN’T ANYONE PICK UP ON THIS?
Counterfeit memory chips in video display units were found in C-27J Spartans which were deployed in Afghanistan according to the committee’s findings. The bogus parts have not been linked to any fatal or near fatal incidences but we shouldn’t wait for that to happen before we make serious changes. The defective/substandard parts can create all kinds of problems for the display including loss of data, degraded images (on the display units), or just outright going blank.
It seems that these counterfeit parts are getting into critical systems in large part due to lack of oversight in defense contracts, it is alluded to that for companies like L3 and Boeing (who were named in the article) their component subcontractors are not necessarily subject to much in terms of quality control. It appears that the main check these subcontractors are subject to are purely financial – otherwise known as “stay under budget.”
Hopefully the Senate committee’s finding will lead to worthwhile changes in the way these companies do business as well as hold them accountable for not keeping a closer eye on quality control. After all the very least we can offer our service men & women is working – and safe – equipment.