By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn, John Paul Rigilano
Counterfeit parts have the potential to cause a serious disruption to Department of Defense (DoD) supply chains, delay ongoing missions, and affect the integrity of weapons systems (Government Accountability Office [GAO], 2010). Incredibly, the number of counterfeit parts in electronic military systems more than doubled between 2005 and 2008, rising from 3,868 incidents to 9,356 incidents (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010). The range of counterfeited goods is wide, and it is growing. The rise of e-commerce, extended international supply chains, stronger reliance on overseas manufacturing, and, more recently, the global economic recession have significantly contributed to the proliferation of counterfeit goods (“Knock Offs Catch On,” 2010). Almost anything can be counterfeited, including fasteners used on aircraft and materials used in body armor and engine mounts. In some instances, lives may be at stake.