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NRI faces life term for selling B-2 secrets

Government attorneys in Hawaii accuse 62-yr-old Noshir Gowadia of conspiring to sell stealth secrets to China.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 14:22 IST

An India-born engineer in Maui, Hawaii, who worked on the B-2 stealth bomber has been charged with selling military secrets to help China build a stealth cruise missile.

Government attorneys claimed Noshir Gowadia, 62, a naturalised American citizen from India, conspired to sell stealth secrets to China.

A federal grand jury has upgraded a former indictment against Gowadia, originally charged with selling information involving the B-2 aircraft. He now additionally faces charges of assisting China with designing and testing an exhaust system nozzle that protects a cruise missile from detection, according to the Hawaiian channel KITV4.

The prosecution has established that Gowadia made six trips to China to discuss, design and test the stealth cruise missile, along with secret e-mails with a representative of China's Foreign Experts Bureau.

He has also been charged with possessing classified military information and money laundering.

Gowadia may face the death penalty or possibility of life in prison and a fine of $250,000. The trial is set for July next year.

Gowadia had worked 18 years for Northrop Corp, where he was an engineer and designed the B-2 stealth bomber's propulsion system. In November 2005, he was charged with three counts of sharing secret military information.

The B-2 is a multi-role stealth aircraft able to drop conventional and nuclear weapons. It was a milestone in the US' bomber modernisation programme.

It is the most expensive plane ever built. Its stealth technology is intended to help the craft penetrate defences previously impenetrable by combat aircraft.

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 11:44 IST