An employee of defense contractor Northrop Grumman has accused the company of faking tests on its LN-100 Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS). The GPS unit is installed on “various aircraft, including helicopters and unmanned drones (including the Predator drone), missiles, submarines, and other vehicles,” the lawsuit said. The LN-100 provides essential positioning data to the sensitive systems.
The case was filed in September 2012 [PDF] by a plant manager named Todd Donaldson, but it was kept under seal from the company and from the public over the following two years. A Utah District Judge ordered the complaint unsealed last Friday. In the suit, Donaldson alleges that Northrop Grumman employees had been faking “pass” results for the LN-100 units, which were then sold to the US government for military and other purposes.
The tests took 10 minutes to run on each LN-100 unit. Donaldson’s complaint against Northrop stated that because the LN-100 units typically failed the GPS Communication Test, “Defendant has taken to having its technicians manually key in positive responses, such that the word ‘pass’ appears on a print-out of the tests without the test actually being run.” Donaldson, who has worked at Northrop Grumman since 1986, said that he brought up the issue internally but was demoted, “as a result of his internal complaints regarding fake testing results on the LN -100 and other improper acts of Defendant.”
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