Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles filed a civil fraud suit against Hughes Aircraft Co. Monday, charging the defense contractor lied about the cost of spare parts used in the F-15 fighter jet's radar.
During contract negotiations in 1982, Hughes told the government that an F-15 radar electronic component known as a Grade C Field Effect Transistor would cost the company $663, and the government paid that amount. However, Hughes officials knew while seeking the fixed-price contract that the most they would have to pay for the microchip was $395.88, the suit said.
The contract ended in 1986 but the overcharging continued, the suit said, with Hughes selling the microchips at the inflated price to McDonnell Douglas Co., which was manufacturing spare radar assemblies for the F-15. A Hughes spokesman had no comment on the suit.