| A B-2 bomber: Indian link
New York, Nov. 5: The father of the technology that protects B-2 Stealth bombers from heat-seeking missiles, Indian-American Noshir Gowadia, 61, has been arrested on the charge of selling top-secret information related to the bombers to at least three foreign countries.
According to an FBI affidavit, Gowadia faxed a document to a foreign country on October 23, 2002, that opened the secrets of “infra-red suppression”, a process that allows Stealth bombers to avoid heat-seeking missiles.
The B-2, which is invisible to radars, made its combat debut in 1999. Gowadia was a design engineer for Northrop Grumman Corp, the makers of the Stealth bombers.
Northrop Grumman acknowledges Gowadia as “one of the principal designers of the B-2 bomber (who) conceived and conceptually designed the B-2 bombers’ entire propulsion system.”
The FBI affidavit also accuses him of having taught a course to foreigners with material in his classified laptop, to which he had access at Northrop Grumman and later at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Gowadia, who was born in Mumbai, worked for Northrop Grumman for 18 years from 1968, after which he joined the secretive Los Alamos National Laboratory as a contract engineer.
At the time of his arrest, Gowadia was a visiting professor at Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also taught at the University of Alabama and at the Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the oldest and most respected polytechnical universities in the US.
In 1999, he set up his own company, N.S. Gowadia Inc, for research and development, engineering and consulting.
Gowadia lived in a 6,790-sq. ft. home with blue-tile roof and white stucco walls built at a cost of $1.8 million in the Hawaiian tourist paradise of Haiku. Federal prosecutors now want to seize the home.
Prosecutors told the court that the home was built with the money he amassed by selling details of Stealth bombers to foreign countries.
The Indian American is said to have confessed his crimes to the FBI in a written statement, which said in part: “I knew it was wrong. I did it for the money.”
If convicted, Gowadia faces 10 years in jail and a fine of $250,000.