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The new facility in China will be operated jointly by Boeing and Comac, the maker of the C919 narrowbody. Workers there will install interiors, paint liveries and deliver 737 aircraft to Chinese customers.
A year-long investigation conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee found more than one million suspected counterfeit parts made their way into the Department of Defense's supply chain and were bound for use by "critical" military systems, according to the 70-plus-page document released Monday. In addition to Navy helicopters and surveillance planes, the parts were slated to be put into the Air Force's newest cargo planes.
"The failure of a single electronic part can leave a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine vulnerable at the worst possible time," the report says. "Unfortunately, a flood of counterfeit electronic parts has made it a lot harder to prevent that from happening."
Chinese companies were identified as the "primary source" of the counterfeit goods and the Chinese government was criticized for its alleged disinterest in cracking down on counterfeiting there. The report said that Chinese companies take discarded electronic parts from all over the world, remove any identifying marks, wash and refurbish them, and then resell them as brand-new – a practice that poses a "significant risk" to the performance of U.S. military systems.
But the committee also pointed a finger at the Pentagon and U.S.-based defense contractors that rely on "hundreds of unvetted independent distributors."