Honeywell acknowledges federal investigation into fighter jet parts made in China

WASHINGTON – Defence contractor Honeywell International Inc. said Sunday it is co-operating with a Department of Justice probe into the overseas production of equipment it provided for a U.S. fighter jet.

The government inquiry involves electronics that Honeywell manufactured for the government’s new F-35 fighter planes, which are designed to be the military’s most advanced combat jets.

Honeywell spokesman Scott Sayres said the Morristown, N.J.-based company produced the component for the F-35 in China “for a short period of time,” but then voluntarily moved production to the U.S. in 2012 after consulting with the Department of Defence.

“We believe we have followed all applicable U.S. laws and regulations relating to the manufacturing of defence-related components in China,” Sayres said in an emailed statement.

Calls placed to the Department of Justice on Sunday afternoon were not returned.

Reuters was first to report about the investigation.

Pegged at about $130 million each for the Air Force version, the F-35 is the military’s most expensive procurement program ever.