Pratt & Whitney Canada Illegally Sent Helicopter Software To China

by Stephen Christensen

Pratt & Whitney Canada, a Canadian subsidiary of United Technologies in the US, has pleaded guilty to selling military software to China.

The software was used by China to develop the Z-10 Attack Helicopter, China’s first. The software involved is designed to control the engines of Pratt & Whitney Hamilton Sundstrand engines. Selling the software violates US law, while putting Sino-American relations on an even-more precarious footing.

On June 28, Pratt & Whitney Canada, based in Quebec, along with other subsidiaries and their parent company, agreed to settle with the US Justice and State Departments to the tune of $75 million. According to The Canadian Press, Pratt & Whitney Canada “pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and making false statements in connection with the export of software used in the development of China's first modern military attack helicopter.”

Louis Chenevert, CEO and chairman of United Technologies, apologized for the actions of his company: “We accept responsibility for these past violations and we deeply regret they occurred.  As a supplier of controlled products and technologies to the Department of Defence and other domestic and international customers, we are committed to conducting business in full compliance with all export laws and regulations."

While it seems amends have been made, David Fein, the US attorney for Conneticut, believes Pratt & Whitney Canada acted out of a desire to be the exclusive helicopter supplier to China, with estimated profits of $2 billion.

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Stephen Christensen

Stephen Christensen

Stephen is the Atlantic Canadian contributor for; reporting Canadian technology news, with a focus on the Maritime provinces.  Having a deep-rooted interest in science and technology for much of his life, he is most interested in mobile technology and social media.  Having been published in various scientific journals, he is completing his Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University... more

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