Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has secured a $6-million federal investment for Endicott Interconnect Technologies (EI) to develop microelectronic chips that safeguard against the foreign tampering of weapons. With this chip, the military will be able to ensure that no foreign government or hostile organization has tampered with US weapons. The microchips are expected to be used for unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, artillery shells, robots, satellites, and other military equipment.
EI will develop the design structures for the anti-tampering detection technology into its circuit boards. Those boards will be manufactured and placed into various military weapons and equipment. The microchips will be fully integrated into the weapons' circuit boards so that an enemy cannot tamper with just one section of a circuit board. EI also will develop equipment that will be used to test the circuit-board microelectronic systems in various military weapons. These tests will be conducted over the lifetime of the system to ensure that it hasn't been altered at any point.
"As the tactics of US enemies become more sophisticated, it's imperative that we develop technology for our military that will be tamperproof and prevent any intentional malfunctioning of US weapon systems," Hinchey explains. "Endicott Interconnect Technologies is going to use this funding to develop a state-of-the-art microelectronic chip that will help ensure the integrity of the weapons our forces are using so they cannot be electronically manipulated to work against them. By investing this money now, we are helping to protect American forces while creating and saving jobs in the Southern Tier and promoting economic growth."
The Pentagon has to ensure and certify that the microelectronic components used in US weapon systems are manufactured within the US instead of nations and foreign organizations that could have an interest in tampering with microelectronic equipment to harm US forces. This certification must be conducted because the US military cannot assume the reliability of foreign-made microelectronics-component technology in sensitive weapon systems. EI will partner with the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's (RDECOM) Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC). EI expects to create or save more than 80 jobs as a result of the funding and the subsequent military contracts that it anticipates receiving.