A Canadian French-language newspaper has reported that a A$3.2 billion sale of turboprop engines from Pratt and Whitney Canada to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is being held up by the Canadian government.
Le Journal de Montreal added that Global Affairs Canada has not issued the approval to export the PW150C engines to AVIC despite the company submitting the export request in 2018. The PW150 powers the Bombardier Q400 turboprop.
The engines are ostensibly destined for AVIC’s new MA700 regional airliner, although the newspaper has quoted a source as saying that the Canadian government is concerned the engines could find their way to military programs, or run the risk of intellectual property theft.
China has built a long line of turboprop airlifters using the indigenous Zhuzhou WJ-6 engine that traces its lineage to the Soviet-era Ivchenko AI-20 engine. This includes prototypes of the new Xian KJ-600 Airborne Early Warning and Command (AEW&C) aircraft, which is expected to operate from China’s third – and first catapult equipped – aircraft carrier that is currently undergoing construction.