TOONE, Tenn. — Kilgore Flares will pay $8 million after being accused of selling defective flares to the U.S. Army according to the Department of Justice.
Kilgore and subcontractor ESM were accused with conspiring to sell defective infrared countermeasure flares and evading customs duties by illegally importing Chinese made magnesium powder in flares.
“The U.S. military uses infrared countermeasure flares to divert enemy heat-seeking missiles away from U.S. military aircraft. A primary component of these flares is ultrafine magnesium powder, which combined with other materials, provides ignition and enables the flares to burn at high temperatures and at rates that mimic an aircraft’s engine. Kilgore’s contracts with the army prohibited the use of magnesium powder from foreign countries (except Canada) in order to maintain domestic manufacturing capability in the interest of national defense. “
Earlier, five former ESM employees pleaded guilty to criminal offenses regarding the imports and were ordered to pay more than $14 million.
“Our warfighters– along with everyone who relies upon them, including their families – need to know that the equipment they use is of the highest quality and dependability,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. of the Western District of New York in a statement. “In this case, the magnesium flares made by Kilgore were literally the last line of defense for our brave aviators. Because of today’s resolution, Kilgore will now ensure that similar incidents do not happen in the future.”
Over the years, the Kilgore plant in Toone has had several accidents.