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

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

June 14, 2019– Mary Greeley News – 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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

“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 defense minister.

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

Mary Greeley News
www.marygreeley.com

credit: In part with https://news.sky.com/story/f-35-jets-chinese-owned-company-making-parts-for-top-secret-uk-us-fighters-11741889