Honeywell Admits Sending F-35, F-22 Part Drawings To China

Credit: Lockheed Martin

Honeywell has agreed to pay $13 million in fines and compliance costs after company officials sent multiple engineering and technical documents to China with details of multiple aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22, over a seven-year period, the U.S. State Department said May 3.

The settlement allows Honeywell to pay $8 million in fines over a two-year period, plus another $5 million on compliance measures, according to the consent decree released by the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). 

The measures include conducting an audit of the company’s arms export compliance program and hiring an external compliance officer to oversee Honeywell’s adherence to the terms of the settlement, Honeywell said in a statement to Aviation Week. 

The State Department reviewed 71 drawings that Honeywell exported or transferred to China, according to a charging document. The unauthorized release of drawings for parts and components for the engines of the F-35, F-22 and Boeing B-1B “harmed U.S. national security,” the DDTC document said.

Honeywell’s statement does not acknowledge any harm to national security due to the self-reported offenses. 

“The issues Honeywell reported involved technology that was assessed as having an impact on national security, though is commercially available throughout the world,” a Honeywell spokesman said. “No detailed manufacturing or engineering expertise was shared.”

The arms export violations occurred over two different periods, according to the DDTC charging document.

In July 2015, Honeywell Aerospace’s Integrated Supply Chain (ISC) exported drawings with data controlled under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to China and Taiwan, the charging document said. Honeywell self-reported the violations in December 2015, and informed the State Department of the corrective actions it was taking to prevent further violations in September 2016. 

But Honeywell reported another series of ITAR violations in October 2018. The ISC organization had without authorization developed a new process to get around the previous corrective actions to comply with an accelerated procurement schedule, according to the charging document. 

ISC believed the alternative process complied with the ITAR, but the team “either failed to review the export control classifications for multiple technical documents or used a classification analysis method that did not properly categorize the documents,” according to the charging document.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.


Honeywell's explanation was an impressive display of legal wordsmith talent. If one believes in Honeywell's response to the State Department, it would appear that virtually every industrial "secret" is available via commercially available throughout the world.
Sorry for the last sentence, should be ...available via commercial sources throughout the world.
Truly patriotic! Someone, or two, ought to be in jail and stripped of their money!
Standard legal weasel words and greed. $18M is peanuts to these people. Trying to outsource US jobs to get a better price and in the process giving away our security. What happened to buy American when spending tax dollars?
Lets see some Jail Time
Feds will go after us normal taxpayers and citizens in a second threatening our families and life. On the other hand is read something like this over and over again with no consequences. What is the big picture hear and who is behind it ?
I think the Biden Administration "Buy America" strategy is aimed at preventing these Supplier Mgmt. shenanigans from re-occuring. Outsourcing should allows be tempered by engineering and security considerations. Outsourcing to China is especially fraught, because even for commodities like metal billets, their is no way you can trust compliance with appropriate process specifications. The PRC is fundamentally untrustworthy.
No treason charges are needed. No fine need be imposed. Simply announce a two to five year suspension of all security clearances for the company. No government work, not even selling a paperclip, for several years would hurt them more than any fine or legal penalty ever would... it tank the stock price, the single most important thing to many business leaders. Similar punishment to privately held companies would likely involve bankrupting them. Would anybody cross the line then?
why is Honeywell sending anything to China? What is their relationship with China and what did they receive in return?
Fool me once....jail time seems more appropriate to the reviewing manager responsible. It must be the manager at the highest level of sign off.
After repeated violations, Honeywell must be excluded from bidding any US Government programs for a period of at least three years. The damage caused by these continued violations is substantial.