BAE Gets of Break from DoD IG


In the interest of fairness, I just noticed this story and thought it best to include it here. We covered this issue when it broke back in May...

Pentagon Rescinds Report on Possible Leaks of Jet's Secrets

By Dana HedgpethWashington Post Staff WriterSaturday, October 25, 2008; Page D02

The Pentagon's inspector general yesterday rescinded a previously issued report that said technology in the U.S. military's newest fighter plane may have been compromised by unauthorized access to facilities and computers of BAE Systems, one of the aircraft's builders.

BAE is one of the two main subcontractors working on the $300 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and is building some of the plane's electronics and weapons systems and parts of its body. Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor on the jet fighter program, which is being developed by the United States and eight foreign partners, including Britain. Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles is the project's other main subcontractor.

In working on major aircraft, contractors often have to share sensitive and classified information, and the government has safeguards in place for its use.

In a March report, the Defense Department inspector general said "incomplete" Pentagon oversight may have increased "the risk of unintended or deliberate release of information to foreign competitors."

BAE is getting into a pretty wide array of defense projects for the United States, including recently taking over management of the Marine Corps Test and Evaluation office near Quantico. If the company wants to keep wrapping its tendrils around more and more of the US defense market, it was important to purge this issue from its reputation -- no matter how tenuous it was.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Christian

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