South Korea’s arms acquisition watchdog said Monday it has discovered that 241 local defense contractors fabricated about 2,800 test results of parts and raw materials for military equipment, vowing tighter regulations.
The Defense Agency for Technology and Quality announced the results after the inspection of 280,199 items provided by parts manufacturers in the last seven years, expanding a previous test that divulged 125 irregularities by 34 companies.
Some of the parts fell short of meeting the standards required by the military, but the suppliers deliberately falsified documents in offering their products to major defense companies that make tanks, guns and helicopters, the DATQ said.
Most of the contractors were small manufacturers of minor parts, which tried to avoid delay in supply and disqualifications, while others provided military gear and food to troops, the agency said.
“In light of the testing results, we will strengthen the quality control system and provide technical support for small and medium-sized companies to strengthen their competitiveness,” DATQ Director Choi Chang-gon said in a briefing.
Although the parts didn’t seriously damage or affect the military equipment, the agency said it will recall all items in question to replace them with qualified products and demand that the contractors pay for them.
The contractors involved in the fabrication will face investigation by the prosecution and will be barred from participating in biddings in the future, it said.
The watchdog also pledged to establish an improved verification system by September to more easily check the test results, while simplifying the testing procedure to reflect the domestic technology and the supply and demand situation in the defense sector. (Yonhap)