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

Rajendra91

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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.
 

Hari Sud

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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.
 

Sea Eagle

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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.
 

Yusuf

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

Immanuel

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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.
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
 

Soumya1989

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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
 

Ray

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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!
 

Blackwater

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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![/QUOTE]

there is analog surface level also besides digital ones.

BTW i fear next order of c-130 will be cancel or on hold. india should go for airbus A-400 bear
 

pkroyal

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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??
 

Yusuf

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

Jagdish58

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

Kay

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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.
 

Blackwater

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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.
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
 

Kay

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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.
 

Hari Sud

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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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