United Technologies Corp. (UTC) has agreed to pay more than $75 million to settle U.S. arms export violations and false and for belated disclosures to the U.S. government about the illegal transactions.
The Justice Department said UTC's Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) subsidiary pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and
making false statements in connection with its illegal export to China
of U.S.-origin military software used to develop China’s
first modern military attack helicopter, the Z-10.
The State Department said since 2006 Pratt &
Whitney and other UTC subsidiaries, including Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. (HSC) and Sikorsky, disclosed hundreds of violations of the the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and "a number of the violations may have caused harm to U.S.
national security and foreign policy interest."
The Pratt & Whitney plea arises out of the improper export
to China of modifications to Hamilton Sundstrand engine control software
incorporated into PWC helicopter engines from 2002-2005.
The State Department said the company's "numerous violations demonstrated a
systemic, corporate-wide failure to maintain effective ITAR controls."
It said it reached administrative agreement with United Technologies to terminate and resolve violations of ITAR and the Arms Export Control Act.
The Justice Department noted that after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre the United States has imposed a prohibition on the export
to China of all U.S. defense articles and associated technical data.
In February 1990, Congress
imposed a prohibition on licenses or approvals for the export of
defense articles to China. In codifying the
embargo, Congress specifically named helicopters for inclusion in the
Dating back to the 1980s, China sought to develop a military attack
helicopter. Beginning in the 1990s, after Congress imposed the
prohibition on exports to China, the country sought to develop its attack
helicopter under the guise of a civilian medium helicopter program to secure Western assistance. The Z-10 is China’s first modern military attack
During the development phases of China’s Z-10 program, each helicopter was powered by engines supplied by Pratt & Whtiney Canada, which delivered 10 development engines to China in 2001 and 2002, the Justice Department said.
military nature of the Z-10 helicopter, PWC determined on its own that
these development engines for the Z-10 did not constitute 'defense
articles,' requiring a U.S. export license, because they were identical
to those engines PWC was already supplying China for a commercial
helicopter," the department said.
The Justice Department said because the electronic engine control software, made by Hamilton Sunstrand in the
United States to test and operate the PWC engines, was modified for a
military helicopter application, it was a defense article and required a
U.S. export license. Despite this, it said "PWC knowingly and willfully caused this
software to be exported to China for the Z-10 without any U.S. export
license. In 2002 and 2003, PWC caused six versions of the military
software to be illegally exported from HSC in the United States to PWC
in Canada, and then to China, where it was used in the PWC engines for
The department said "according to court documents, PWC knew from the start of the Z-10
project in 2000 that the Chinese were developing an attack helicopter
and that supplying it with U.S.-origin components would be illegal. When the Chinese claimed that a civil version of the helicopter would be
developed in parallel, PWC marketing personnel expressed skepticism
internally about the 'sudden appearance' of the civil program, the
timing of which they questioned as 'real or imagined.' PWC nevertheless
saw an opening for PWC 'to insist on exclusivity in (the) civil version
of this helicopter,' and stated that the Chinese would 'no longer make
reference to the military program.' PWC failed to notify UTC or HSC
about the attack helicopter until years later and purposely turned a
blind eye to the helicopter’s military application.
"HSC in the United States had believed it was providing its software to
PWC for a civilian helicopter in China, based on claims from PWC. By
early 2004, HSC learned there might an export problem and stopped
working on the Z-10 project. UTC also began to ask PWC about the
exports to China for the Z-10. Regardless, PWC on its own modified the
software and continued to export it to China through June 2005."
The Justice Department added "according to court documents, PWC’s illegal conduct was driven by
profit. PWC anticipated that its work on the Z-10 military attack
helicopter in China would open the door to a far more lucrative civilian
helicopter market in China, which according to PWC estimates, was
potentially worth as much as $2 billion to PWC."
The Consent Agreement and related documents will be available to the public on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Website
. - Chris Dupin