American multinational United Technologies Corp. and two of its subsidiaries have admitted illegally shipping defense parts to China and to helping Beijing develop its first modern military attack helicopter.
According to CBS News, UTC, Pratt and Whitney Canada (PWC), and Hamilton Sundstrand have agreed to pay 75 million dollars to settle criminal charges.
In a case brought by U.S. prosecutors in Connecticut, United Technologies was accused of shipping parts for the Z-10 helicopter in violation of a 1989 ban on defense exports put in place after Tiananmen Square.
The Justice Department also accused the defense contractors of essentially hiding the shipments by making false statements and delayed disclosures to U.S. government officials.
The Z-10, which went into service in 2009, is a gunship armed with 30 mm cannons, anti-tank weapons and air-to-air missiles.
The government alleges that the U.S. contractors were attempting to develop relations with Chinese defense officials in hopes of gaining entree to China's profitable civilian helicopter market, which is about two billion dollars.
The Justice Department said that while China was developing the Z-10 helicopter, PWC sold them the engines for it, which operated on specialized software made in the U.S.
Assistant Secretary Shapiro, of the State Department's Bureau of Political and Military Affairs, said: "Today's $75 million settlement with United Technologies Corporation sends a clear message: willful violators of U.S. arms export control regulations will be pursued and punished". (ANI)