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Thread: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets

  1. #1

    Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets

    After discovering China-made components in the F-35 fighter jet, a Pentagon investigation has uncovered Chinese materials in other major U.S. weaponry, including Boeing Co's B-1B bomber and certain Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters, the U.S. Defense Department said.
    Titanium mined in China may also have been used to build part of a new Standard Missile-3 IIA being developed jointly by Raytheon Co and Japan, said a senior U.S. defense official, who said the incidents raised fresh concerns about lax controls by U.S. contractors.
    U.S. law bans weapons makers from using raw materials from China and a number of other countries, amid concerns that reliance on foreign suppliers could leave the U.S. military vulnerable in some future conflict.
    The Pentagon investigated the incidents in 2012 and 2013, and granted the waivers after concluding the non-compliant materials posed no risk, Defense Department spokeswoman Maureen Schumann told Reuters.
    Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's chief arms buyer, issued five such waivers after a change in U.S. law in 2009 expanded the restrictions on specialty metals to include high-performance magnets, Schumann said. The change affected a radar system built by Northrop Grumman Corp for the F-35, which uses a number of such magnets.
    Reuters reported in January that the Pentagon permitted Lockheed to use Chinese magnets to keep the $392 billion F-35 program on track, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup.
    The other, previously undisclosed waivers covered the B-1 bomber, F-16 fighter jets for Egypt equipped with a specific radar system, and the SM-3 IIA missile, Schumann said in response to a query from Reuters.
    The U.S. Government Accountability Office is expected to brief Congress in April on its comprehensive audit of the issue of Chinese specialty metals on U.S. weapons systems.
    TWO-DOLLAR MAGNETS
    China is the largest supplier of specialty metals and materials needed to build magnets that work even at very high temperatures, although congressional aides say progress has been made on developing alternate sources in the United States.
    Kendall initiated a broader Pentagon review after the initial F-35 issue was reported in late 2012, but ultimately granted the waivers because there was no risk involved with the parts, said the senior defense official.
    In some cases, it would have been expensive to take apart complex equipment to swap out magnets potentially made with Chinese rare earths; in others, the parts will be swapped out during future routine maintenance.
    "You don't break a multimillion dollar radar to replace twenty dollars' worth of magnets. There was no technical risk," said the official, who added that the issue involved only raw materials. No weapons systems specifications were sent to China, the official said.
    The F-35 waivers included a range of equipment, including $2 magnets used in radars on 115 F-35 jets. The F-16 and B-1B bomber waivers also involved magnets made from Chinese raw stock, the official said.
    A separate issue involving thermal sensors built for the F-35 by a Chinese subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc did not require a formal waiver because it involved a unit of a U.S. company, the official said. Honeywell now builds that part in Michigan.
    Honeywell acknowledged in January that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating import and export procedures at the company after the incident.
    'JUST SLOPPINESS'
    Defense officials say the incidents underscore the need for greater vigilance by arms makers about their supply chain to ensure they comply with U.S. laws.
    "It's really just sloppiness, frankly, when this happens," said the defense official. "It's not enough to say, 'I'm pretty sure it didn't come from China.' That doesn't work for us. We're looking for documents."
    Officials at Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing and Raytheon referred all questions to the U.S. government. Without the waivers, the companies could have faced stiff penalties for violating U.S. laws; instead the Pentagon is likely to seek compensation from the companies.
    The defense official said the waivers were granted with the expectation that the companies would tighten up their buying procedures to reflect changes in procurement rules.
    "It's not a 'get out of jail' free card. This is something we should be good at. We shouldn't be caught short on these," said the official. "Hundreds of regulations change yearly and there's a whole group of folks whose job it is to make sure that those (changes) are properly implemented in contracts."
    Kendall initiated a review of all systems on Lockheed aircraft programs after Northrop Grumman, which builds the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the F-35, found it may have used non-compliant Japanese magnets.
    The Pentagon's Contracts Management Agency later widened its review to include high-performance electronics across the industry. "We have looked very hard and systematically to flag these (issues)," said the official.
    One industry official declined to estimate the costs involved, but said the department was clearly taking a more aggressive approach on supply chain problems.
    The Pentagon had shared the cost of such incidents in the past, but U.S. officials were now insisting that companies paid for the cost of retrofits with their own funds.
    The case of the SM-3 missile that Raytheon is developing jointly with Japan involved titanium produced in China, and the incident was self-reported. But the missiles were produced for testing and the Chinese materials would not be used in any subsequent missiles, the defense official said.
    Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets | Reuters

    Unbelievable !
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  2. #2
    Globalization is great, oh yeah send it all

    'Smart bomb' technology moving to China


    Citing national-security concerns, two Democratic lawmakers are engaged in a last-ditch effort to halt plans for the transfer of an Indiana factory that produces critical technology used in the guidance systems of U.S. “smart bombs” to the People’s Republic of China.

    The Department of Defense denies any impropriety, but some observers are asking: Is it a case of politics as usual, or a cover-up?

    The Magnequench factory (originally known as UGIMAG) was sold in August 2000 to a consortium that included Chinese interests. In 2001, it was announced the plant would be shut down.

    The factory is responsible for producing 80 percent of the rare-earth permanent magnets used in the guidance systems of U.S. “smart bombs,” according to lawmakers.
    “We deserve answers not only about the economic impact of this move, but also about the potential threat to national security that it creates,”
    ‘Smart bomb’ technology moving to China

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  3. #3
    Raw materials like titanium and several rare earth metals are an unavoidable issue, given that the environmentalists have choked off most of the mining operation in Colorado, which contains the largest supply of several critical metals. We do not have vast internal sources for several metals critical to military production. I don't have a problem buying from the Russians or the Chinese if the intent its to conserve our own resources for the future. I do have a problem when we are left with no viable alternatives due to the environmentalists.

    There have been huge problems with inferior Chinese electronics and even bolts and nuts that can be found in advanced military hardware. That is never done by accident and USA contractors are well-aware of the rules for sourcing these components. Some of the USA companies that did the substitutions need to be criminally prosecuted. It is a breach of their contract.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Raw materials like titanium and several rare earth metals are an unavoidable issue, given that the environmentalists have choked off most of the mining operation in Colorado, which contains the largest supply of several critical metals. We do not have vast internal sources for several metals critical to military production. I don't have a problem buying from the Russians or the Chinese if the intent its to conserve our own resources for the future. I do have a problem when we are left with no viable alternatives due to the environmentalists.

    There have been huge problems with inferior Chinese electronics and even bolts and nuts that can be found in advanced military hardware. That is never done by accident and USA contractors are well-aware of the rules for sourcing these components. Some of the USA companies that did the substitutions need to be criminally prosecuted. It is a breach of their contract.
    The problem isn't only to get the raw material, but the transfer of patents, trademark and factories to China corporations. Even if the raw material cannot be exploited in a profitable manner here because of environmental rules, the Chinese corporations still hold the patents and trademarks.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  5. #5
    I learned a long time ago when I was working with Chinese manufacturers that there are no business ethics in China and confidentiality agreements are meaningless. If you reveal a trade secret to a Chinese manufacturer in the morning, by the afternoon every manufacturer in China who works with those products is aware of the details. Chinese manufacturers do not view themselves as competing with one another.

    We should never allow sensitive products to be manufactured in China. There are a lot of strange things going on with China under the Obama administration that make no sense. It appears that he is giving in to pressure from China in exchange for them continuing to finance the debt that he is generating.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    If you reveal a trade secret to a Chinese manufacturer in the morning, by the afternoon every manufacturer in China who works with those products is aware of the details. Chinese manufacturers do not view themselves as competing with one another.
    That's what makes the best notorious merchants

    We should never allow sensitive products to be manufactured in China. There are a lot of strange things going on with China under the Obama administration that make no sense. It appears that he is giving in to pressure from China in exchange for them continuing to finance the debt that he is generating.
    I don't know about the strange things going on with China under the Obama administration you are talking about. The only thing I can say is that trade with China didn't start with the Obama administration...
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Franc Tireur View Post
    I don't know about the strange things going on with China under the Obama administration you are talking about. The only thing I can say is that trade with China didn't start with the Obama administration...
    The problem is not trade with China. The problem is things that make no economic sense, such as chickens that are shipped to China for processing and then returned to the USA without any labeling that says it was processed in China because the Obama administration waived that requirement. There are so many problems with Chinese poultry that the Chinese will not eat chickens produced in China. I do not believe that the Chinese will not substitute their own inferior chickens that are raised in filth and ship that garbage back to the USA. If I saw chicken in the store that said processed in China, I would never buy it.

    Another problem is anyone with a trade secret--especially military trade secrets--who thinks it is okay to work with a Chinese manufacturer. Any military contractor who transfers technology to China needs to be prosecuted, but that will only happen if the current White House goes go after those contractors.

    The big difference between my viewpoint and others is that I've actually been to China several times and know how they operate.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    The problem is not trade with China. The problem is things that make no economic sense, such as chickens that are shipped to China for processing and then returned to the USA without any labeling that says it was processed in China because the Obama administration waived that requirement. There are so many problems with Chinese poultry that the Chinese will not eat chickens produced in China. I do not believe that the Chinese will not substitute their own inferior chickens that are raised in filth and ship that garbage back to the USA. If I saw chicken in the store that said processed in China, I would never buy it.
    I think we have thread about this subject

    Another problem is anyone with a trade secret--especially military trade secrets--who thinks it is okay to work with a Chinese manufacturer. Any military contractor who transfers technology to China needs to be prosecuted, but that will only happen if the current White House goes go after those contractors.
    The political class created the problem, and they are the only one who can fix it.

    The big difference between my viewpoint and others is that I've actually been to China several times and know how they operate.
    Sure been in China is one thing, but really you don't have to be over there to realize the big mess trade...
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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