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China's Z-10 Attack Helicopter: How American Companies were Fooled

Updated on June 29, 2012
The Chinese Z-10
The Chinese Z-10

This is a perfect example of how Western technology can end up in adversary weapon systems because of dual use and lying.

United Technologies and Pratt & Whitney both supplied China with technology prohibited to export. They did so for the chance to win millions of dollars in civilian Chinese business. Instead, now both pleaded guilty to illegally supplying China with military technology and agreed to pay $75 million in penalties in fines. The companies also lied about the sale of software that helped the Chinese create the attack helicopter between 2002-3. These two companies allowed the Chinese to use restricted U.S. military technology. This ban began in 1989. The Chinese lured to two companies with a promise of $2 billion opportunity by making them exclusive suppliers. The engine supplied by Pratt & Whitney was not the civilian version, but the military version which is protected technology.

The Chinese muddled up the process on purpose to hide their real intentions by claiming they were building a 10 seat civilian transport helicopter. When American and Canadian engineers first saw it, they asked, "where are the 10 seats"? The Chinese official only laughed in response. By 2004, the Americans began to understand how they had been duped, yet, never reported it to the U.S. government. Finally, by 2006, they realized they had to.

The Chinese provided all the necessary documents the misled the American\Canadian engineers of both companies into thinking the end product was civilian use. There was never a civilian Z-10 planned, it was a ruse to get Western technology, which worked like a charm.

The first Z-10 flew in 2007 or so.

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    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 5 years ago

      I know, but the story is about deception and not to trust them.

    • kschang profile image

      kschang 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      China had been grabbing tech for the past 15 years.

      They bought Ssangyang Motors of Korea, bled it dry of any technology worth taking (directly linking the servers and sucked up all the tech documents despite no agreement from board of directors), called tech leaders to China to "consult", then when there's nothing left, sold off all the shares and dumped them like a limp doll, leading to several violent strikes in Korea, and indictment by local prosecutors, but the South Korean government did nothing.

      From the looks of it, it's a hybrid of EuroCopter Tiger and AH-64 Apache, though it's probably closer in capability to the Mangusta (Augusta 129)

      Not to worry, it's nowhere as close as good to AH-64D Longbow, esp. with the upgraded engine the Brits are so fond of, not even the avionics.

      Though by now some are probably wishing that we didn't cancel the Commanche. :)