The State Department announced a $13 million deal with Honeywell International, a U.S. defence contractor, over claims that it sold scientific details on fighter jets and other combat equipment to foreign nations, including China.
The settlement resolves 34 charges the State Department leveled against the company for disclosing dozens of engineering prints showing dimensions, geometries and layouts for manufacturing parts for aircraft, gas turbine engines and military electronics.
Honeywell voluntarily informed the department in two disclosures that it had violated arms export control laws by sending the technical drawings to foreign countries, the State Department said in a statement.
“Honeywell also acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, cooperated with the department’s review and instituted a number of compliance program improvements during the course of the department’s review,” it said. “For these reasons, the department has determined that it is not appropriate to administratively debar Honeywell at this time.”
According to the proposed charging letter, Honeywell, which produces and exports a wide range of regulated security articles such as aircraft parts and components, first disclosed to the department in December 2015 that he had found several sketches of export-controlled parts it had submitted to Taiwan and China as part of requests for quotations that July.
Honeywell discovered 71 managed drawings that it had exported to Canada, Ireland, China, and Taiwan between July 2011 and October 2015.
“The U.S. government reviewed copies of the 71 drawings and determined that exports to and retransfers in the PRC of drawings for certain parts and components for the engine platforms for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B-1B Lancer Long-Range Strategic Bomber and the F-22 Fighter Aircraft harmed U.S. national security,” the document said.
Honeywell also publicly revealed in 2018 how it had committed similar violations after telling the State Department two years ago that it had taken “multiple corrective actions” in response to the initial disclosure.
In an alternative process, which Honeywell officials claimed was compliant with export regulations, the firm submitted two monitored sketches to Canada, two to China, and 23 to Mexico, which the government determined threatened national security after inspecting the records.
“The settlement demonstrates the department’s role in strengthening U.S. industry by protecting U.S.-origin defense articles, including technical data, from unauthorized exports,” the State Department said. “The settlement also highlights the importance of obtaining appropriate authorization from the department for exporting controlled articles.”
Honeywell clarified in an email to UPI that it “inadvertently shared” the technology that was evaluated as having an effect on national security through “normal business discussions” but that the schematics were commercially accessible worldwide.
It said that “No detailed manufacturing or engineering expertise was shared,”
Honey agreed to pay the fine and have an external enforcement officer administer the settlement decree for at least 18 months, as well as perform an external assessment into the compliance policy, as part of the agreement.
“Since Honeywell voluntarily self-reported these disclosures, we have taken several actions to ensure there are no repeat incidents,” Honeywell said.