In order to identify counterfeit equipment and remove them from the supply chain, RDECOM ECBC scientists have developed a method to use DNA tags to identify counterfeit equipment.

Anyone who’s ever been burned by a knockoff pair of counterfeit designer sunglasses can tell you: counterfeit is never better than the real thing.

The U.S. Army, after learning that counterfeit equipment entered the supply chain, is now developing a method for identifying counterfeit equipment by marking authentic equipment with DNA tags.

A few years ago, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report stating counterfeit components were frequently found in the supply chain, usually electronics. They noted that the equipment was generally of a lesser quality than required.

In response, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) funded a project researching the use of DNA tags to track components, a program conducted by the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. DNA was chosen for its stability: it’s robust and doesn’t degrade easily in different temperatures.