DLA secures supply chain with DNA marking

DLA secures supply chain with DNA marking

The Defense Logistics Agency may expand its use of DNA marking technology to verify the authenticity of microchips and other electronics in its supply chain.

DNA marking was originally used to secure specific types of microchips and has since migrated to a wider swath of items and materials.  The Pentagon has been working with Applied DNA Sciences on research and development efforts related to this technology since 2010.

“When DNA is introduced into or onto an item, identity is established and it can be independently verified. It establishes traceability and requires very little real estate,” Janice Meraglia, vice president, government and military programs, Applied DNA Sciences, explained.

Because microchips are integrated into key military systems, ensuring their integrity is critical to cybersecurity.  DNA marking technology can help catch and thwart counterfeit parts from being built into U.S. military products. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), among other members of Congress, has raised concerns that Chinese electronics have been woven into some commercial and military technologies.

Reports by the Fiscal Times, BBC and ABC news have all stated that U.S. military equipment, including weapons and surveillance aircraft such as the Air Force Global Hawk, are being engineered with Chinese-made counterfeit parts.

“Counterfeiters have gotten good at what they do,” Mergalia added.

A longer version of this article was first posted to Defense Systems, a sister site to GCN.

About the Author

Kris Osborn is a former editor of Defense Systems.

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