China bought bomber se­crets Ex-con­trac­tor charged as spy

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Bill Gertz

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 F15 jets and the Air Force’s air­launched cruise mis­sile, in­for­ma­tion that would be use­ful to coun­ter­ing those sys­tems by an­ti­air­craft 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 ac­counts.

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 B2, 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 heat­seek­ing 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.

AC­CUSED:

As­so­ci­ated Press

Two pho­tos of for­mer de­fense con­trac­tor Noshir S. Gowa­dia, who has been charged with sell­ing de­tails of clas­si­fied U.S. tech­nol­ogy to China.

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