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India-born defence contractor charged with spying

Written by: Staff

Washington, Nov 23 (UNI) Former defence contractor Noshir S Gowadia, an Indian-born US citizen, has been charged with selling details of classified US technology to China, reports a Washington-based daily.

China obtained secret stealth technology used on B-2 bomber engines from a Hawaii-based spy ring in a compromise US officials say will allow Beijing to copy or counter a key weapon in the Pentagon's new strategy against China, says the Washington Times.

It says details of the classified defense technology related to the B-2's engine exhaust system and its ability to avoid detection by infrared sensors were sold to Chinese officials by Gowadia, charged with spying in a federal indictment released by prosecutors in Hawaii.

Additionally, Gowadia provided extensive technical assistance to Chinese weapons designers in developing a cruise missile with an engine exhaust system that is hard to detect by radar, the daily says quoting court papers made public recently.

Gowadia has pleaded not guilty to the charges and his son, Ashton Gowadia, was quoted by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that the charges against his father are false. A trial is scheduled for July.

The daily, quoting court papers, however, says he also helped the Chinese modify a cruise missile so that it can intercept US air-to-air missiles, and helped Chinese weapons designers improve testing and measurement facilities.

Most of the indictment, handed up to November 8, outlines how the engineer helped China develop a radar-evading stealth exhaust nozzle for a cruise missile engine.

Additionally, the court papers indicated that Gowadia sent e-mails to Israel, Germany, and Switzerland in 2002 and 2004 that contained data labeled 'secret' and 'top secret' that was related to US stealth technology intended for use in the TH-98 Eurocopter and for foreign commercial aircraft.

The case is the second major military technology espionage case involving China. Earlier this year, two Chinese-born brothers in Los Angeles were arrested as suspects in passing Navy warship and submarine weapons secrets to China.

In all, Gowadia is charged with making at least six secret visits to China from 2002 through 2005, and being paid at least 110,000 Dollars by Chinese officials for highly classified defence technology supplied through January, according to court papers.

Investigators think he was paid as much as 2 million Dollars, some of which remains in foreign bank accounts, it says.

The first known compromise was Gowadia's lecture in a foreign country in 1999 that involved the disclosure of defence secrets.

He offered classified defence information to as many as eight foreign nations, the court papers state.

The daily says Gowadia worked for B-2 developer and manufacturer Northrop Aircraft Inc from 1968 to 1989 as part of an ultrasecret special access program for the B-2, and later as a Northrop contractor involved in classified research on missiles and aircraft. He also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1990s.


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