Counterfeit Crackdown

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is on a mission to prevent fake parts from making their way into the defense supply chain. SASC has been conducting its own investigation into counterfeit electronic parts, some of which have been found on the Air Force’s new C-27J aircraft, the Navy’s SH-60B helicopter and P-8A Poseidon aircraft, as well as the Missile Defense Agency’s THAAD missiles. These cases, said Levin during a SASC hearing Tuesday, “are a drop in the bucket.” He continued, “There is a flood of counterfeits and it is putting our military men and women at risk and costing us a fortune.” Levin said the Defense Department must change its acquisition rules to ensure the cost of replacing suspected fake parts falls on contractors. This, he says, will ensure greater accountability. In the mean time, DOD needs to require certification for supply parts to ensure legitimacy, especially for those that come from China where the vast majority of counterfeits appear to originate, he said. Levin also wants to see an inspection system put in place for parts coming in from China, similar to systems already in place for certain agricultural goods. (Levin opening statement)