• Safi Bello

The Pentagon’s Seek-and-Destroy Mission for Counterfeit Electronics

Scientific American ------ The Pentagon has known for years that a significant number of the replacement parts it buys for its missile guidance and satellite systems contain substandard counterfeit microchips. But finding these fakes—as they make their way through a complex global supply chain of fabrication facilities, assembly plants and parts distributors—can be like searching for a needle in a haystack (made entirely of other needles). The military estimates that up to 15 percent of all spare and replacement parts for its weapons, vehicles and other equipment are counterfeit, making them vulnerable to dangerous malfunctions. Counterfeit microchips—integrated circuits in particular—have turned up in replacement parts for U.S. Missile Defense Agency mission computers (pdf), ship-based aviation antenna equipment and in helicopter night-vision systems. Between November 2007 and May 2010 alone, U.S. Customs officials seized 5.6 million counterfeit microchips destined for military contractors and the commercial aviation industry, and the problem has only grown since then. To learn more click on the picture below to read the article.

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