EXECUTIVES of metal supplier Western Titanium have been indicted for fraud over weak titanium parts it supplied to Boeing and the US Air Force.
According to a four-year Defense Department investigation, the weak parts were used in active-duty military aircraft, and included flight-safety-critical parts such as engine mounts.
Four of the company’s executives were charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy for falsifying the quality certificates of titanium supplied to its customers.
The prosecutors say Western made short cuts to its process, by using a press to squash the metal and cut it down to a rolled thickness. For aircraft-grade titanium, the ore should be heated and fed through giant steel rollers to result in directional strength.