OTTAWA, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The head of the Canadian air force says the service will continue flying its CC-130J Hercules despite allegations of counterfeit parts.
"Lockheed Martin, the CC-130J Hercules' manufacturer, has determined there are no safety concerns and no flight limitations to our aircraft as a result of alleged counterfeit parts," said Lt. Gen. Yvan Blondin. "When this issue became known, the Department of National Defense conducted an independent assessment that concurred with Lockheed Martin's conclusion."
Blondin made the announcement in a letter, which was released this week by the Canadian Department of National Defense, to two Canadian news organizations.
The parts in question are microchips in cockpit and cargo display units installed by Lockheed Martin during production.
Blondin said assessments carried out by both Lockheed and the Canadian air force "confirm that the aircraft can be flown safely" using the primary flight instruments, or alternatively, with the standby analog flight gauges.
"The high degree of redundancy in the aircraft systems, combined with DND's excellent airworthiness program, mean that our Royal Canadian Air Force pilots and aircrews remain completely confident in the safety of this fleet," Blondin said. "We will continue to closely monitor the status of these systems and in the event any parts are determined to be non-serviceable, we will take steps to ensure they are replaced."
Canada has been flying the aircraft since 2010.