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China bought bomber secrets

China bought bomber secrets
China bought bomber secrets 

By Bill Gertz
November 23, 2006

China obtained secret stealth technology used on B-2 bomber engines from 
a Hawaii-based spy ring in a compromise U.S. officials say will allow 
Beijing to copy or counter a key weapon in the Pentagon's new strategy 
against China.
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 former defense contractor Noshir S. 
Gowadia, an Indian-born citizen charged with spying in a federal 
indictment released by prosecutors in Hawaii.
Additionally, Mr. 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, according to court 
papers made public recently.
He also helped the Chinese modify a cruise missile so that it can 
intercept U.S. air-to-air missiles, and helped Chinese weapons designers 
improve testing and measurement facilities, the court papers state.
Most of the indictment, handed up Nov. 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 Mr. 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 U.S. stealth 
technology intended for use in the TH-98 Eurocopter and for foreign 
commercial aircraft.
One computer file found in Mr. Gowadia's Maui, Hawaii, home was a file 
containing the radar cross-sections of U.S. B-1 and F-15 jets and the 
Air Force's air-launched cruise missile, information that would be 
useful to countering those systems by anti-aircraft missiles or other 
air defense weapons.
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, Mr. Gowadia is charged with making at least six secret visits to 
China from 2002 through 2005, and being paid at least $110,000 by 
Chinese officials for highly classified defense technology supplied 
through January, according to court papers. Investigators think he was 
paid as much as $2 million, some of which remains in foreign bank 
The first known compromise was Mr. Gowadia's lecture in a foreign 
country in 1999 that involved the disclosure of defense secrets. He 
offered classified defense information to as many as eight foreign 
nations, the court papers state.
Mr. Gowadia was first indicted in November 2005 in connection with 
passing information to several countries that were not identified. The 
new indictment states that Mr. Gowadia continued to be engaged in a 
conspiracy to sell classified technology through January 2006.
Mr. 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.
He developed the still-secret method used by military aircraft to 
suppress infrared signals from the engine that blocks heat-seeking 
missiles from targeting the jet.
U.S. officials familiar with the case said the compromise of the B-2 
technology is extremely damaging because it will give China key secrets 
on the bomber.
A defense official said the case highlights China's intelligence efforts 
to counter key weapons systems that give the United States strategic 
advantages over Chinese forces. "The B-2 is at the head of the list of 
their intelligence targets," said the official.
The Pentagon recently completed a major upgrade of bomber storage 
facilities on the Pacific island of Guam as part of a new strategy 
designed to position forces in Asia for a swift defeat of China in a 
future conflict.
B-2 bombers are regularly deployed for short periods of time on Guam as 
part of what the Pentagon is calling its "hedge" strategy to be ready to 
deal with a Chinese threat in the future.
According to the indictment, Mr. Gowadia, who lives on an estate on the 
island of Maui, conspired with two men, Tommy Wong and Henri Nyo, to 
sell the technology.
Mr. Wong was identified in court papers as an official of the Chinese 
Foreign Experts Bureau who met the other men during meetings in Chengdu, 
China. The bureau is a center that conducts "research and development of 
Chinese fighter aircraft and cruise missiles."
During the six visits, Mr. Gowadia was there "for the specific purpose 
of assisting the [People's Republic of China] in designing, testing and 
analyzing a low observable exhaust nozzle ... for a PRC cruise missile," 
the indictment said.
In the earlier indictment, Mr. Gowadia was quoted as telling 
investigators that he "disclosed classified information and material 
both verbally and in papers, computer presentations, letters and other 
methods to individuals in foreign countries with the knowledge that 
information was classified."
"The reason I disclosed this classified information was to establish the 
technological credibility with the potential customers for future 
business," he said. "I wanted to help these countries to further their 
self aircraft protection systems. My personal gain would be business."
Mr. Gowadia has pleaded not guilty to the charges and his son, Ashton 
Gowadia, told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that the charges against his 
father are false. A trial is scheduled for July.
Copyright 2006 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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