14 Apr 2021 -

Microchip security remain ongoing problem for Defence

Congress and the Pentagon want to ensure that the chips, wherever they come from, are certified in tests to be trustworthy and reliable, say U.S. political commentators, Rollcall.

Nearly nine years after a Senate Armed Services Committee investigation into counterfeit electronic parts, which discovered one million bogus parts, including components for several types of combat aircraft, significant concerns still abound.

At the time of the report, Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chaired the committee, commented, “Our report outlines how this flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs.”

In 2021, an ongoing shortage of computer chips, triggered by pandemic-induced disruptions in markets, has led to U.S. factory closures and job losses, and this has focused politicians’ minds on the U.S. dependence on overseas chip makers.

“We all understand this is important not only to our economy but also to our national security, because these cutting-edge, high-end semiconductors operate on everything from the F-35 fifth-generation stealth-fighter plane to our cell phones,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, after a Feb. 24 White House meeting on proposals for subsidizing domestic chip makers.

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