Senate Armed Services Committee Releases Final Report on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in the Defense Supply Chain

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After a year-long investigation that involved the review of more than 100,000 pages of documents submitted by DoD, electronic parts manufacturers, defense contractors and subcontractors, electronic parts testing laboratories and parts distributors, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) published its final report on May 21, 2012. The SASC also interviewed dozens of individuals and held a full committee hearing in November 2011.

The SASC found that most counterfeit parts originate in China, the United Kingdom and Canada, and that DoD lacks knowledge of the scope and impact of counterfeit parts. The use of counterfeit parts compromises systems performance and reliability and can endanger the safety of military personnel. As General Patrick O’Reilly, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency said:

"A counterfeit part may pass all production testing. However, …the part [may have been] damaged during its unauthorized reprocessing causing the deployed system to fail…reliability may be affected because a counterfeit part may be near the end of its useful life when it is installed."

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