Did IAF’s US-made C-130J Super Hercules had fake Chinese parts?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Rajendra91, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Rajendra91

    Rajendra91 Regular Member

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    SOURCE: ToI
    India's newly-
    acquired
    American C-130J
    Super Hercules
    plane that
    crashed last
    week near
    Gwalior has been
    under intense
    scrutiny in the
    United States
    and Canada after
    a Senate
    investigation
    concluded that
    counterfeit parts
    in the aircraft's
    display systems
    could cause it to
    "lose data or
    even go blank
    altogether" in
    midflight, with
    potentially
    catastrophic
    consequences.
    A 2011-2012
    investigation by
    the US Senate
    armed services
    committee
    eventually
    traced the
    counterfeit
    electronic parts
    used in the
    C-130J, C-27J,
    and many other
    US military
    systems to a
    company in
    Shenzhen, China,
    called Hong Dark
    Electronic Trade
    Company. Hong
    Dark sold the
    parts at issue to
    Global IC
    Trading Group,
    an independent
    distributor in the
    US, which in turn
    sold it to L-3
    Communications
    Display Systems,
    which in turn
    supplied it to
    Lockheed Martin,
    the US military's
    prime contractor
    for the C-130J.
    Amid scathing
    observations by
    the Senate panel,
    the US air force
    suspended and
    banned Hong
    Dark in 2012 from
    competing for
    government
    contracts and
    subcontracts, but
    testimony before
    the armed
    services
    committee
    showed stunning
    lapses in the
    supply chain and
    procurement
    procedures for
    the military
    systems,
    including the
    C-130J Super
    Hercules, six of
    which New Delhi
    contracted to buy
    in 2010 for $1.1
    billion, around
    Rs 1000 crores
    apiece.
    India has plans
    to buys six more
    to augment its
    transport fleet
    with the much-
    acclaimed
    aircraft, which
    has won plaudits
    for its safety
    record and its
    versatility. The
    acquisition
    enables the
    Indian military
    to put boots and
    supplies on the
    ground in remote
    and inhospitable
    terrain, giving it
    matchless reach
    in the region.
    However, the
    aircraft display
    systems itself
    will now come
    under scrutiny —
    if it already
    hadn't been under
    the scanner —
    although the
    cause of the
    Gwalior crash is
    yet to be
    determined. The
    US Senate
    committee report
    is withering in
    its observations
    not only about
    US procurement
    and supply chain
    system, but also
    the casual
    manner in which
    private
    contractors
    treated the issue
    once the
    counterfeit parts
    were detected.
    The story begins
    in November
    2010 when L-3
    Display Systems
    detected that the
    company's in-
    house failure
    rate for a chip
    installed on
    display units
    used in C-130J
    and C-27J had
    more than tripled
    from 8.5 per cent
    to 27 per cent. L-3
    also noticed that
    the same part
    had previously
    failed on a
    fielded military
    plane. The
    company sent the
    chips for testing,
    which resulted in
    identification of
    "multiple
    abnormalities,"
    with the tester
    concluding that
    the parts were
    "suspect
    counterfeit."
    "Failure of the
    memory chip
    could cause a
    display unit to
    show a degraded
    image, lose data,
    or even go black
    altogether," the
    Senate report
    said, noting that
    "unfortunately,
    L-3 Display
    Systems had
    already installed
    parts from the
    suspect lot on
    more than 400 of
    its display
    units," including
    those intended
    for the C-27J, as
    well as the
    C-130J.
    In effect, what
    the IAF's court of
    inquiry will need
    to look at is
    whether India
    received any of
    the contaminated
    display units in
    the six C-130J it
    bought from the
    US, and if it did,
    whether the US,
    including
    Lockheed Martin,
    alerted IAF to it.
    India's own
    procurement
    process,
    including
    whether the
    buyer tracked
    and followed up
    the troubles
    associated with
    the C-130J,
    including the
    Senate's
    investigation,
    will also have to
    be reviewed.
    At least in
    Canada, another
    C-130J customer,
    a CBC
    investigation in
    early 2013
    highlighted the
    troubles with the
    aircraft's
    instrument
    panel, although
    the government
    there glossed
    over the issue
    initially.
    But the Senate
    investigation
    offers a
    disturbing
    picture of people
    up the supply
    chain not
    particularly
    alarmed at the
    contamination of
    crucial display
    systems with
    counterfeit
    parts. According
    to the senate
    report (page 35),
    following the
    detection of the
    fakes, L-3
    Display Systems
    on November 4,
    2010, issued a
    part purge
    notification,
    quarantining the
    company's own
    stock of the
    suspect memory
    chips.
    It did not,
    however,
    recommend to its
    customer that
    assemblies
    affected by the
    suspect
    counterfeit chips
    be returned for
    replacement of
    those chips. As a
    result, hundreds
    of display units
    intended for and
    installed on
    C-130Js and
    C-27Js included
    the suspect
    counterfeit
    memory chip,
    well after its
    discovery by L-3
    Display Systems.
    Lockheed Martin,
    the US military's
    prime contractor
    for the C-130J,
    does not cover
    itself with glory
    either in the
    episode. The
    Senate report
    notes that when
    L-3 notified
    Lockheed of the
    problem,
    Lockheed
    engineers
    discussed the
    matter internally
    and decided "no
    action" was
    necessary and
    the display units
    did not need to be
    returned for
    repair. Lockheed
    Martin also "did
    not formally
    notify the Air
    Force of the
    suspect
    counterfeit chip
    in the C-130J."
    According to
    Senate
    investigators,
    while Lockheed
    Martin told the
    Air Force that the
    suspect
    counterfeit parts
    were
    "functionally
    complaint" to
    authentic
    genuine parts,
    the Air Force was
    apparently not
    informed that
    the failure rate
    of the part had
    tripled during
    acceptance and
    environmental
    stress testing.
    The Senate
    report concluded
    that since its
    investigation,
    hearing and
    public release of
    information
    about the
    counterfeit
    chips, the US Air
    Force had
    reported that
    they are
    aggressively
    taking action to
    remove the parts
    in question, audit
    the supply chains
    etc. But as of
    March 2012, the
    report noted,
    Lockheed Martin
    had removed and
    replaced only a
    handful of the
    display units in
    the C-130J that
    are affected by
    the suspect
    counterfeit
    memory chip.
    The worrying
    part for Indian
    defense planners
    is that the Senate
    panel talks of
    several other US
    military
    platforms, such
    as Boeing's P8A-
    Poseidon — a
    custom-made
    variant of which
    has been supplied
    to the Indian
    Navy — being
    contaminated
    with counterfeit
    Chinese parts.
    According to the
    US air force,
    "approximately
    84,000 suspect
    counterfeit
    electronic parts
    purchased from
    Hong Dark
    entered the DoD
    supply chain, and
    many of these
    parts have been
    installed on DoD
    aircraft.
     
  2.  
  3. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unless the US tells what they sourced from the Chinese, it would be hard to tell. US will never tell.

    It happened before. The firebricks in the INS Vikramaditya during its first sea trial were sourced from a Chinese suppliers. All the boilers failed as the firebricks were of a fake variety. It resulted inn18 months delay in refurbishing the boiler with Asbestos insulation.
     
  4. Sea Eagle

    Sea Eagle Senior Member Senior Member

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    The aircraft was flying low. So even if the display systems were having problems the pilots could have relied on visual confirmation to fly the aircraft.
    So the poor quality parts from China to be the reason of the crash is quite absurd but cannot be ruled out...
    Lets wait for the investigation to be over.
     
    jmj_overlord and sayareakd like this.
  5. xuxu

    xuxu Regular Member

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    Yes, it has, only 6 Indian C-130 have fake parts from China, but other 2000 others C-130 have real part from China
     
    Kay, chase, Agnostic_Indian and 4 others like this.
  6. Victor Sierra

    Victor Sierra Regular Member

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    Black Box has been sent to US for decoding.

    If they found it was somewhere their mistake, Is there any possibility of tempering Data?
     
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  7. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    To save their skin they will say pilot at fault.
     
    Kunal Biswas and Kay like this.
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    DoD banned use of Chinese components a couple of years or so ago.
     
  9. Immanuel

    Immanuel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thats' very silly, the pair of C-130Js were on a very low level training mission and they were flying at around 300ft i.e 91.44 meters, at this altitude pilots's rely thoroughly on HUDs and other diplay systems to keep the aircraft's nose pointed over the horizon line. Also it appears the aircraft's tail might have snapped into the hillock while the pilot was pulling up, such a thing is easy to happen when one has a 'sudden loss' of HUD + dsiplay data. Analog instuments don't show precise enough data to know precise altitude.

    File:C-130J Co Pilot's Head-up display.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/6/8/0/1138086.jpg
     
  10. Soumya1989

    Soumya1989 Regular Member

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    There is no chance of Chinese counterfeit product in IAF C130J super Hercules.

    As reported by Manu Pubby

    IAF: We had sent all C 130J display systems suspected to have Chinese parts to the US for analysis. All came back negative.
    https://twitter.com/manupubby/status/450588731368812544

    IAF: Less than two dozen display systems on C 130J were suspected to have Chinese parts. Were all sent to the US for checks and found genuine.
    https://twitter.com/manupubby/status/450590063442018304

    And reported by Shiv Aroor

    In low-level tactical flying, pilots fly mostly with visual refs. A catastrophic blanking out of cockpit displays wouldn't be a big danger.
    As details are awaited on the C-130J, a breach of flying discipline between the two formated aircraft is being weighed as a possibility.

    https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/450591379685507072
    https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/450590932589490176

    The 'Chinese parts' in the C-130J cockpit theory is a diversion from a much more uncomfortable likelihood: breach of flying discipline.
    https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/450593744354410497

    Incidentally, breach of flying discipline theory impinges on both the C-130J that crashed as well as the lead C-130J flying in front of it.
    https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/450594498427379712

    Difficult to describe how overwhelmed and confounded the IAF is with the C-130J Super Hercules crash. Tough questions for the service. Sad.
    https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/450595649210155008
     
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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I read a report that if the aircraft had fake parts, like iut has been found on some USAF planes, then variety of errors can take place with the sensor and the display can go blank!
     
    Peter likes this.
  12. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    yes.....americans would never agree if the fault is found in the aircraft
     
  13. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  14. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    China does it again!

    Fake parts bring down the mighty Hercules ( c-130) of IAF

    what next?

    If our strategic assets are being maintained by jugaad, let our desi " ludhiana make" industry take over.

    Any QA, being ensured in spare parts purchase??
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    There are no Chini parts on our birds says IAF which had the parts checked
     
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  16. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Hey come on cowards give reasons & get away with it , pls get the indepth reasons for crash and comment :thumb:
     
  17. Kay

    Kay Regular Member

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    Aircraft are brought down by stupid things like nails and metal chips, aka "foreign objects" or birds "not getting the memo". Let's wait for the investigation results.
     
  18. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ohh mama. it was 4 engine propeller driven plane in air

    bird hit is not issue to 4 engine propeller plane and nails and metal chip dont fly
     
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  19. Kay

    Kay Regular Member

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    http://www.int-birdstrike.org/Warsaw_Papers/IBSC26 WPSA1.pdf
    An-12, An-24, An-32 have all gone down to bird-strikes. Of course, the jet engines planes are more vulnerable.
    FOD can happen later after ingestion from runways - e.g. Concorde.

    This crash can be for controller error (hitting hillock), ground crew error (for the fire), crosswind,etc. But there's a chance of engine malfunction as well. Crash investigations are often surprising. Let's wait for it instead of blaming the IAF.
     
  20. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Possibility of Chinese parts being cause of this crash has to be eliminated. The IAF spokesman said so.

    On the other hand it was pilot error.

    These pilots no matter how senior have to be sent back to school for retraining. Loosing a $200 million aircraft is no joke.

    Like his Navy counterpart, who resigned after second Navy accident, taking moral responsibility, the Air Chief has to show some spine.

    The Airforce has to stop wasting energy about fighting to get Pilatus basic trainer. Instead concentrate on doing something basic. Train the senior pilots better. Choose simulators for major aircraft training instead of quarreling over buying Pilatus.
     

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