Fake parts: A Pentagon Supply Chain Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

In August, the Pentagon had halted delivery of F-35s after Honeywell, the maker of a key engine component in the F-35, told a Lockheed Martin-operated facility in Fort Worth, Texas it had new concerns about the provenance of one part. Specifically, the subcontractor had learned a magnet in the component had been made for years using raw materials sourced in China — a violation of federal procurement rules. The Defense Department ultimately decided the Chinese alloy didn’t endanger or compromise the F-35, and it granted a waiver in early October for deliveries to resume. But the high-profile incident spotlighted a quandary for Pentagon leaders, one the department has struggled to address and was warned about for more than a decade: how to keep counterfeit parts and other unauthorized material from sneaking into the department’s sprawling supply chain. To read more, click here.