WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2006 -- A former Northrop engineer who helped design the B-2 stealth bomber has been hit with additional charges in an indictment that a federal grand jury returned earlier this week.
Noshir Gowadia, one of the lead engineers on the B-2 project, was originally indicted in November 2005 for allegedly selling information about the B-2 to China; the new indictment charges that his lust for money went even further as he shopped U.S. defense secrets to individuals in Israel, Germany and Switzerland, as well China.
The new charges allege that Gowadia helped China design and test crucial parts of a stealth cruise missile for China's military.
"The defendant did knowingly and willfully export a defense service and related technical data to the People's Republic of China (PRC)," the indictment said.
The indictment alleges that on six occasions between 2003 and 2005, Gowadia traveled to China "for the specific purpose of assisting the PRC in designing, testing and analyzing a low observable exhaust nozzle... for a PRC cruise missile."
Gowadia allegedly worked with individuals named Tommy Wong and Henri Nyo. The indictment notes that Wong worked for the Chinese Foreign Expert's Bureau and that the men traveled to Chengdu, China "a center for research and development of Chinese fighter aircraft and cruise missiles."
According to Justice Department officials, Gowadia was paid about $2 million for his work on the cruise missile and for the secrets he compromised on the B-2.
The scientist was provided top secret access while he worked for Northrop, the designer of the B-2, from 1968 to 1986. He then later worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory before establishing his own consulting company.
In recent years the FBI and Justice Department believe he went on a marketing campaign, via e-mail, essentially selling information about sensors and the stealth propulsion system to several countries, including China.
"The defendant in this case attempted to profit from his know-how and his knowledge of sensitive military technology," said Ken Wainstein, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's National Security Division.
In a Dec. 21, 2003, e-mail Gowadia sent to Wong with secret information, Gowadia wrote, "Not many people have this strong a resume, I'm not sure your people appreciate it, maybe just think I am like any other expert."
According to court records, when federal agents searched his house the FBI recovered seven hard drives and 40 boxes of documents that contained classified information.
John Pike, the director of GlobalSecurity.org, said the information Gowadia gave the Chinese could harm U.S. Navy assets in the region.
"It is hard to say how much damage he caused without knowing how well his design would work against American sensor systems. But every little bit helps," Pike told ABC News. "He probably made American warships more vulnerable to Chinese anti-shipping cruise missiles by some degree."
On his trips to China, according to the recent indictment, Gowadia did more than just pass classified materials to the Chinese. At one design center in June 2004 he visited an aeronautical testing facility where he "identified design flaws and technical deficiencies with the PRC's measurement capabilities," according to the indictment.
On several occasions he also provided briefings and presentations about the cruise missile exhaust system.
Going back to 2002, according to the recent indictment, Gowadia also sent a foreign government official in Switzerland top secret U.S. defense information about the TH-98 Eurocopter. He also sent top secret and secret information to unidentified business people in Germany and Israel.
Gowadia has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him; his trial is scheduled for July 2007.