The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a stern warning recently when he released the findings of a congressional investigation to determine if China was addressing the problem of counterfeit defense parts.
“The Chinese government’s refusal to shut down counterfeiting that occurs openly in their country puts our national security and the safety of our military men and women at risk. Not only that, but it also costs thousands of American jobs,” said Sen. Carl Levin. “Since China won’t act, we must. It is critical that Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security implement the authorities we gave them in the National Defense Authorization Act to stop counterfeit parts before they enter the country. There is too much at stake for us to delay.”
Levin was referring to findings by investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) who bought parts for the Air Force’s F-15 fighter, the Maverick missile, the Marine Corps’ V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and the Navy’s Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine. All the Chinese parts bought “failed inspection and were determined to be counterfeit.”
The GAO also found that counterfeit parts on at least seven aircraft, including two C-27J aircraft deployed to Afghanistan, Boeing’s new P-8A anti-submarine and ISR aircraft, as well as some of Lockheed Martin’s C-130Js.
While language was added to last year’s defense policy bill aimed at curbing the purchase of counterfeit parts, Levin and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain think more must be done.
“So long as this threat persists, we must continue to take steps, such as the ones Senator Levin and I legislated in last year’s defense bill, to prevent counterfeits from harming our troops and undermining our weapons systems,” said McCain.