A Boeing Co. plant in Arizona that builds Apache attack helicopters is under scrutiny by more than two dozen Army personnel after the company reported quality problems it says were caused by a derelict technician.
The Army is evaluating whether the quality concerns involving testing and installation of potentially unsafe parts -- which temporarily grounded 11 attack helicopters and prompted a delivery halt -- were limited to the actions of the now-fired technician or are more systemic at the Mesa, Arizona, plant.
The issue is “absolutely concerning,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in an interview. “We had to go back and investigate the supply chain and find all the defective parts” and uncovered “a challenge with the quality testing in the facility,” he said.
The inspection began Sept. 28 after the company reported the issue. The review is meant “to improve quality processes and manufacturing of critical safety items to prevent the Army from receiving products that do not meet standards,” Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Kelley, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The review includes Boeing and “all the engineering organizations inside Army aviation,” he added. (end of excerpt)
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