Indal Technologies, Inc. has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold defective helicopter landing systems designed for U.S. Navy destroyers. Indal, of Ontario, Canada, is a division within Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Since the 1970s, Indal has produced the Recovery, Assist, Secure, and Traverse (RAST) system attached to U.S. Navy’s Arleigh-Burke class destroyers. RAST systems allow helicopters to land on destroyers.
The RAST system includes a device that locks a hovering helicopter onto a trolley. Once locked in place, the helicopter moves along a series of steel track plates into a shipboard hangar. The trolley must remain securely connected to the track plates, because the helicopter may be required to land during rough seas and high winds. The Navy’s contracts for RAST systems expressly required track plates made of HY100 steel due to the material’s increased strength, combat ruggedness, and protection from corrosion.
The settlement announced last week resolves allegations that Indal, without informing the Navy, knowingly substituted a different, less expensive type of steel in numerous RAST system track plates delivered to the Navy.
This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort among the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. The investigation was conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.