Visibly frustrated leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2011 lamented the “flood of counterfeit electronic parts” gushing from China all the way into the U.S. defense supply chain. The Pentagon has enacted stringent regulations in recent years to stave off the flow of fake electronics. Prime contractors are required to inspect weapon systems throughout the production cycle, and are obligated to flag and root out subcontractors that provide unreliable parts. The Defense Department additionally has struck deals with “trusted” manufacturers of semiconductors and other components that have been accredited as safe production facilities. Despite these measures, the Pentagon appears to still have concerns about the safety of components and future access to a reliable supply of microelectronics for U.S. weapon systems. A major fear is the possibility of U.S. adversaries or industrial spies penetrating the supply chain.
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