Sikorsky Subcontractor Settles False Claims Act Suit for Failure to Test Armor Plating

Ceradyne, Inc., a subcontractor for Sikorsky Aircraft, agreed to pay the federal government $1.2 million to settle a False Claims Act suit for failing to ballistically test armor plating installed near the pilot and co-pilot in Black Hawk helicopters.  Ceradyne’s settlement comes a little over a year after Sikorsky itself paid $2.9 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations stemming from the same inadequate armor plating.

Ceradyne manufactures the armor-plated inserts, which Sikorsky then installs to the left of the pilot and the right of the co-pilot in the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters.  Federal agencies determined that from 1992 until 2006, the inserts were not tested to ensure that they had been manufactured to the government’s specifications.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command heralded the settlement as an indication of the government’s dedication to investigating the failure of government contractors to meet the military’s specifications. “Testing of armor plating is a vitally important part of the manufacturing process, and deviation from testing protocols puts the lives of our brave service members at risk,” said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.

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