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Newport News shipyard steel supplier
provided subpar metal for Navy
submarine hulls, feds say

Original Article

Posted By: Boni, 6/16/2020 9:30:09 AM

For decades, the Navy's leading supplier of high-strength steel for submarines provided subpar metal because one of the company's longtime employees falsified lab results — putting sailors at greater risk in the event of collisions or other impacts, federal prosecutors said in court filings Monday. The supplier, Kansas City-based Bradken Inc., paid $10.9 million as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, the Justice Department said.     Corrections*

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Reply 1 - Posted by: BarryNo 6/16/2020 9:37:48 AM (No. 446140)
If this is true, those involved need hung for treason. Jeapordizing the safety of such vital strategic assets of the USA goes far beyond murder, even if no one died as a result. Absolutely unconscionable. Its equivalent to sending a soldier into combat with subpar weapons - something that was done all to often in vietnam. I wonder if these people had Democrat protectors?
25 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Rumblehog 6/16/2020 9:39:39 AM (No. 446142)
If EVER there needed to be a public hanging for treason this is it.
22 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: klezmer 6/16/2020 10:00:48 AM (No. 446165)
#1 and #2 - this is not treason. Look up the definition please. And #1, she did it because she thought it was a stupid test. She deserves to spend the rest of her life in jail for fraud, but when you make silly statements about treason, you sound like the equivalent of lefties with their stupid remarks.
16 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: DVC 6/16/2020 10:12:01 AM (No. 446179)
That test she was reporting fraudulently on would almost certainly be the Charpy Impact Test. The good news is that in peace time, it probably isn't very important. When it would be important is when a depth charge goes off nearby when the sub is at a great depth, when impact strength is crucial to to survival of the submarine. THAT is why the test is there in the first place. I hope she spends a bunch of time in prison, she certainly deserves it. One question: Is Elaine Thomas another Affirmative Action hire? Was she promoted because she is a female, rather than because she is a competent tmetallurgist and skilled at her job? Apparently, checking her ethics had no part in her selection process.
20 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: DVC 6/16/2020 10:29:29 AM (No. 446192)
In case anyone wonders about whether this evil person had any validity to her views that the test wasn't important ("a stupid requirement"), the Charpy Impact Test was created when we discovered ships having major structural hull fractures in cold North Atlantic waters in WW2, and had to develop a lab test to compare the fracture toughness of various steel alloys, and for these ship hull steels, the important test was done at low temperatures. We discovered that certain steel alloys become extremely brittle and shatter at amazingly low loads when they are cold. This was shocking information in WW2, and unknown before that. In the 1990s, an engineering professor and students University of Missouri Rolla, a very well known engineering school, tested many steel hull plate examples recovered from the Titanic and found that their impact resistance was about 1/10th of that of modern steels at low temperatures. This was not due to 'poor quality steel' in the Titanic - it was the best quality steel known at that time, but because of impurities, which were not then known to cause brittleness at low temperatures, it was susceptible to fracture a lower than expected force levels in a impact, like with an iceberg, at low temperatures. THIS is why the USN has low temperature impact tests like this on the hull plate materials for submarines. That witch should die in prison.
21 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Bur Oak 6/16/2020 10:36:23 AM (No. 446199)
The shipbuilder needs to institute a program of sending samples to an independent lab for test validation. Why isn't this already part of the Navy's contract for systems with critical parts?
18 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: PCMM 6/16/2020 11:08:12 AM (No. 446234)
Well, #3, I looked it up: treason [tree-zuhn] 1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign (check) 2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state (check) 3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery (check) Sure looks like treason to me and btw, this isn’t a court of law, it’s a salon. Look up the definition, please.
15 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Zumkopf 6/16/2020 1:14:48 PM (No. 446397)
#7, if you looked it up, you looked it up in the wrong place. Try the US Constitution; it is the one and only crime specifically defined there: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." [This is codified, with the same language, in 18 USC § 2381.] Note that word "only." By no possible stretch of the imagination is falsifying test results levying war against the US or allying with the Chinese or Russians. Not every serious crime is treason. Nor should the word "treason" be flung around with alacrity, as James Madison himself explained in Federalist 43: "As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime[.]" In other words, loosely accusing people of "treason" tends to increase factionalism, to the detriment (not benefit) of national security.
3 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: czechlist 6/16/2020 2:48:05 PM (No. 446499)
I managed a testing lab at a major defense plant. We performed many tests which we did not deem to be necessary but we were contractually obligated and the US taxpayer payed us to perform them. So they were performed. We often were required to measure within ridiculous tolerances and called it "specmanship". If we questioned the engineering and production specs? "because we can" was the standard response. I know why weapon systems are so expensive.
2 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 6/16/2020 3:25:02 PM (No. 446542)
#9, yes, I fully understand. I worked at a government weapons contractor and many of our specs, given to us by designers at the national labs, seemed over the top. On several occasions we had meetings, or more often phone calls, with designers to query them about certain specifications which either 1) dramatically increased material costs or 2) dramatically impacted shipping schedules due to alloys being just not available until the maker made another melt, which could be "in the next year or so", since demand for some high-spec steels is extremely low, and batches are made "periodically" to no particular schedule, and a potential order for 500 lbs or so wouldn't impress a steel mill used to making thousands of tons in the slightest. It's hard to meet a production schedule when that is the response from the only supplier of a special, proprietary steel alloy which has been specified for a particular part. Fortunately, in a number of cases, after showing them a detailed finite element analysis of their design, and showing that there were numerous other, AVAILABLE, alloys which would be way more than adequately strong, often we got a rewrite of the specs. Sometimes....no. And then we just wrote the cost and delay into the project schedule and the taxpayers paid for it. Occasionally, when the schedule delay was bumped upstream far enough, word came down to the designer to back off, but not always. Some designers were reasonable people. Some were not. Sometimes high spec alloys are really needed, but not in all things. For sub hulls....I'd say fracture toughness at low temps is very much a real world need in a war time scenario.
5 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Mushroom 6/16/2020 3:39:41 PM (No. 446560)
While never an super high class lab inspector, I was at one point in my career required to perform preventative maintenance and testing on a military product. One of the tests was absolutely meaningless and no one could ever explain to me why it was done. It had no effect on the operation . A few years later I found myself on a different path and that piece of equipment popped up, and low and behold, that adjustment was critical in this application. I used to call it getting a glimpse of the "Big Picture". This woman worked there for years and instead of shrugging her shoulders and doing what was required, pencil whipped it. And it may, one day, cost lives. If she certified something that would be fraud. Start there.
3 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: jj1319 6/16/2020 3:51:48 PM (No. 446581)
When specs become unwieldy, my preferred solution is to write "no quote" and return. Problem sol-ved, as they say.
1 person likes this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: ussjimmycarter 6/16/2020 4:43:19 PM (No. 446646)
The Titanic sunk because of bad steel! This is outrageous! Prosecute to the full extent of the law, put in prison and throw away the key! One of our subs WILL fail eventually because of this evil!
0 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623 6/17/2020 1:26:23 AM (No. 447064)
In the 1950's my uncle worked at that shipyard. This was not her decision to make. Looks like the dumbing down of America has been going on longer than we thought.
1 person likes this.

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