Lets give a big Bronx cheer for Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies (UTC), for illegally providing turbine engine technology to China. And, while we’re at it, lets give a toot for Hamilton Standard for providing the control software.
According to a recent article in The Atlantic, the Canadian division of Pratt & Whitney provided engines for the production of the Chinese Z10 attack helicopter. It is worth the read.
The Chinese helicopter that benefited from Pratt’s engines and related computer software, now in production, comes outfitted with 30 mm cannons, anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles and unguided rockets. “This case is a clear example of how the illegal export of sensitive technology reduces the advantages our military currently possesses,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said in a statement released on June 28. The Atlantic, July 6, 2012.
According to the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database of the top 100 offending corporations, UTC ranked number seven.
OK. I’ll state the obvious. This is a very eggregious crime. If an individual did this, the outcome for such a person might be considerably more punitive. But an amoral corporate being like UTS and it’s wayward subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, the consequences are more abstract. A $75 million hit to the bank account for aiding a nation who’s military influence in the eastern Pacific rim is increasingly in conflict with US interests. Not a trivial consequence, but nonetheless a consequence that does not match the transfer of sensitive technology to a country with values antithetical to US policy.