C-27J and C-130J transports are among the Air Force’s weapons systems affected by the prevalence of counterfeit electronic parts in the Defense Department’s supply chain, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s newly issued investigative report on this issue. For example, L-3 Display Systems discovered in November 2010 that the defective rate for a computer memory chip that it uses in cockpit displays in the C-27s and C-130s had more than tripled to 27 percent, states the report. Further testing determined that the chip was “suspect counterfeit,” notes the report. “Unfortunately, L-3 Display Systems had already installed parts from the suspect lot on more than 400 of its display units,” states the report. Failure of these chips could cause a display to go blank or even lose data, it notes. (SASC report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also SASC release accompanying the report.)
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