The U.S. Defense Department is pushing its contractors to ensure none of their materials are being sourced from China or other U.S. adversaries, according to a Monday report.
The effort comes weeks after the Pentagon paused deliveries of new F-35 fighter jets upon discovery that a component in the craft had been manufactured using a China-sourced alloy.
The DOD is now turning to artificial intelligence to help track its globe-spanning supply chain and limit input from adversaries, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The defense supply chain has been a focus in Washington for years, with a House task force pushing the military to sharpen its supply chain security in 2021.
Defense contractors are already held to a high standard for sourcing their materials from the U.S. or other trustworthy sources. The component that caused the F-35 scare was a magnet used in the aircraft's turbomachine pumps. The magnet was partially constructed from a Chinese-sourced alloy.
Pentagon officials were reportedly alerted to the issue on Aug. 19. Officials said the issue did not affect F-35s that are already in service.
"We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft," F-35 Joint Program Office spokesperson Russell Goemaere told Politico earlier this month.
"There are no performance, quality, safety or security risks associated with this issue, and flight operations for the F-35 in-service fleet will continue as normal," he added.
The F-35 is America's fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, and details of its design are a closely-guarded secret.