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.