Friday, November 4, 2011

Lawmaker Seeks Probe into GE’s China Ties re F-35

Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) is asking the Pentagon to investigate U.S. defense giant GE's partnership with China's state owned aviation company, AVIC, to develop next-generation commercial avionics. Forbes' call for action comes after numerous reports have surfaced in recent months claiming that partnerships such as GE's could provide China with an edge in quickly developing advanced military equipment.
On Oct. 17, Forbes wrote Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urging him to start an investigation into the joint venture aimed at producing civilian versions of the integrated modular avionics systems that were originally developed for the United States' F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets. 
"Given [the technology's] military origin, I am deeply concerned, once in [China], it will wind up aiding the military aviation programs of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, which is even now developing its J-20 fifth-generation fighter that appears intended to threaten U.S. air supremacy in East Asia," reads Forbes' letter to Panetta.