Washington: A former B-2 stealth bomber engineer, found guilty of selling sensitive military technology to China, has been given a 32-year prison sentence, a report said.
Noshir Gowadia, 66, was convicted of five offenses in August following a trial in a federal court in Hawaii. He had been accused of passing on design information that would allow cruise missiles to avoid infra-red detection.
"We`re a little disappointed (the judge) didn`t give him a life sentence, that`s the sentence that would`ve sent the best message," assistant US attorney Ken Sorenson said on Monday after the sentenced was announced, reported local KHON2 news.
"But 32 years is stiff and in many ways an appropriate sentence for him," added Sorenson.
"We believe very strongly that he`s innocent, and we very much look forward to the appeals process in the 9th circuit,” said Gowadia`s son, Ashton, according to the report.
Gowadia was found guilty of illegally communicating classified information, as well as illegally retaining defence information following a 40-day trial.
"He provided some of our country`s most sensitive weapons-related designs to the Chinese government for money," Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris said in a statement at the time.
Gowadia was arrested in October 2005 and accused of communicating national defence information to a person not entitled to receive it. Further charges were added on subsequent indictments issued up until 2007.
He was employed as an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corporation for nearly two decades between 1968 to 1986, where he had a role in developing the propulsion system and low observable capabilities of the Stealth bomber.
Gowadia continued to work on classified projects as a contractor for the US Government until 1997 when his security clearance was terminated.
During his trial, prosecutors alleged Gowardia made repeated trips to China between 2003 and 2005 to provide defence services in the form of design, test support and test data analysis of technologies related to China`s cruise missile programme.