Senators Ask Panetta To Suspend Pratt & Whitney Defense Work

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Two key U.S. senators have called on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to consider barring a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary from Pentagon contracts for illegally exporting software to China.

Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and John McCain, the top Republican on the panel, asked Panetta on Monday to evaluate the case for contract suspension or debarment of jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Levin and McCain called the illegal exports “enormously troubling.”

Hartford-based United Technologies would not comment and a Pentagon spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty on June 28 to crimes related to the illegal export of software that U.S. officials say
was used by China to develop its first modern military attack helicopter.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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