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  1. #1
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    F-35 by Chinese?

    F-35 jets: Chinese-owned company making parts for top-secret UK-US fighters

    An expert said it's possible to embed technology such as a chip without a customer's knowledge that could change how it functions.

    A Chinese-owned company is making circuit boards for the top-secret next generation F-35 warplanes flown by Britain and the United States, Sky News can reveal.

    Exception PCB, a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer in Gloucestershire, south west England, produces circuit boards that "control many of the F-35's core capabilities", according to publicity material produced by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

    This includes "its engines, lighting, fuel and navigation systems", it said.

    When asked about the firm's Chinese ownership, the MoD said Exception PCB is an established manufacturer of circuit boards to the defence industry and presents "no risk" to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter supply chain.

    A director from the company said there are "clear firewalls in place" between Exception PCB and its Chinese parent company Shenzhen Fastprint.

    But defence experts, including former defence ministers, expressed concern that a Chinese-owned company is producing any parts for such a classified, British and American fifth generation programme, because of long-standing fears about Chinese espionage and rivalry.

    They said it is a particularly odd situation given President Donald Trump's trade war with China and his opposition to any involvement by another Chinese company, Huawei, in fifth generation civilian mobile phone networks.

    "We have been completely and utterly naive about the role of China and it is only now that people are beginning to wake up," said Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Tory defence minister.

    There is no suggestion that Exception PCB or Shenzhen Fastprint have done anything wrong.

    The assessment of the Chinese state as hostile towards Western nations is key in understanding why Huawei is considered a risk.

    The Chinese state has long been accused of seeking to steal details on the multi-billion-pound F-35 programme, headed by US defence giant Lockheed Martin.

    The stealth aircraft, fitted with a suite of highly classified sensors and other technology, will form a core part of US, British and other allied air and naval forces for the coming decades.

    Companies in nine countries that partnered on the programme from its early stages supply components for the entire fleet of aircraft that is being built.

    This means parts made in the UK are put on F-35 jets flown by the US, Japanese, Norwegian, Italian and other militaries.

    The revelation that one Chinese-owned firm is part of this global supply chain raises the possibility there could be others.

    Lockheed Martin was unable to state categorically this was not the case.

    "We are not aware of any other Chinese-owned F-35 suppliers at this time," the firm said.

    A March publication by the UK MoD, entitled Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Action Plan, promoted Exception PCB as an example of a UK-based firm that is part of the supply chain for the F-35.

    What it did not mention is that Shenzhen Fastprint - a company based in China and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange - bought Exception PCB in 2013.

    Describing its involvement in the aircraft programme, the MoD publication said: "Gloucestershire-based Exception PCB manufacture the circuit boards that control many of the F-35's core capabilities."

    Read more
    https://news.sky.com/story/f-35-jets...hters-11741889

  2. #2
    En route
    Cujo's Avatar
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    Naive morons.

  3. #3
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Naive morons.
    Why?

    The parent company Shenzen Fastprint makes printed circuit boards (PCB) and can also do PCB assembly ie populate them with components.
    Exception PCB does only make PCB's ie etch out copper thereby making wires on the PCB, they don't assemble them for the F-35 project, that is done elsewhere
    The board (the resin laminate) and its wires contains no useful information for outsiders.
    May the bridges I burn light my way

  4. #4
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    The board (the resin laminate) and its wires contains no useful information for outsiders.
    boards have multiple layers - and I could not see why you couldn't etch some extra configuration - maybe a RFID antenna which would blow a fusible link - though the electronics would be well shielded it still could be a risk

  5. #5
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    boards have multiple layers
    Yes but that doesn't change anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    I could not see why you couldn't etch some extra configuration
    You can not hide anything, a simple x-ray would show it and you can be sure that each PCB gets SEM scanned before being populated.

  6. #6
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Get another supplier. Problem solved.

  7. #7
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Get another supplier. Problem solved.
    You don't get it.
    The problem is only an imaginary one so there is nothing to solve.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Is there anything in this World that the chinese are NOT trying to steal ?

  9. #9
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    You don't get it.
    The problem is only an imaginary one so there is nothing to solve.
    No, you don't get it. Change supplier whether illusory or not.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HermantheGerman View Post
    Is there anything in this World that the Americans do NOT need the Chinese?
    FIFY...

    (even for a super secret weapon?)

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