Counterfeit part risk has been discussed from various perspectives. Briefings presented by DoD describe a “profile of counterfeit risk” based on the age of technologies and the susceptibility of those technologies to counterfeiting . SAE Aerospace Standard AS6174 presents a counterfeit materiel risk assessment model based on “impact of supply chain” (cost of operations, degraded function, sabotage or malicious functions, personnel injury or death) and “likelihood of counterfeiting” based on production availability from original manufacturers . SAE Aerospace Standard AS5553 includes a “risk stack chart” describing counterfeit electronic part risk as a function of “supplier reliability and product criticality” . DfR Solutions describes counterfeit electronic part risk in terms of probability of failure versus supplier trustworthiness . Integra Technologies describes types of counterfeit electronic parts, tests and inspections used to detect them, and the probability of detection . A common thread weaving through all of these representations is that vulnerability to counterfeits and risk mitigation is a function of supplier selection, due diligence applied when using riskier suppliers and end use application considerations.
In a recent article, Dr. David E. Frick describes the hazards of ascribing levels of risk based on esoteric analysis versus risk assessments supported by empirical data and defensible estimates . While each of the aforementioned representations are helpful toward pointing organizations in the right direction, quantitative techniques are needed to support practical applications for evaluating counterfeit avoidance approaches. In this essay, I present notional counterfeit parts risk analysis examples based on a methodology described within the “Risk Management Guide for DOD Acquisition”  and discuss implementation issues for DoD, A&D contractors and academia to consider when devising quantitative risk-based approaches to addressing the counterfeit parts threat.