Why the Designer of B-2 Stealth Bomber is in Supermax Prison

Why the Designer of B-2 Stealth Bomber is in Supermax Prison

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Noshir Gowadia couldn’t stop his hands from  trembling. Each passing second, every tick   of the clock’s hands made the beating of his heart  quicken, so much so that he could feel it thumping   against his ribs. The suspense of waiting for  the jury to return and issue their verdict made   him almost nostalgic for the days when the most  that he had to worry about… was getting caught.  Gowadia’s life could have taken such a different  trajectory. He could have lived and died with a   legacy, remembered for his accomplishments and  nothing else. Outside of the people who knew   the machines he’d designed, the rest of the world  would have been none the wiser as to who he was.  

But he had fallen victim to his own greed, the  human impulse to make money. And that was what   had landed him in trouble. Had Gowadia known  he’d end up sat in that chair, that he’d spent   the last four months in that very courtroom, and  that he’d be sat wracked with anxiety over what   would happen next… well, maybe he would’ve  thought twice about sending those faxes.  The door to the courtroom swung open, the tension  making it sound like a deafening boom to Gowadia’s   ears. The jurors returned to their places, filing  in and sitting down. He could feel each of their   gazes locked onto him like laser-guided targeting  systems. The court was called to rise for the   judge, and Gowadia could feel his knees weaken as  he stood up, the shuddering concealed by the desk   in front of him. He could’ve sworn he heard one  of his lawyers mutter two words under his breath: 

“Good luck.” At the behest of the judge,   the head juror rose. They had reached a verdict.  Every second of silence that passed between the   judge’s questions and the jury’s response felt  like it lasted for several agonizing minutes.   Until, one word cut through the terrified fog  and rang out like the blast of a bombshell in   Gowadia’s ears. When asked, the head juror told  the judge that they had found the defendant… 

Guilty. On the tenth of August,   2010, a jury returned their verdict for  Noshir Gowadia, after a lengthy trial   fraught with interruptions, both delays and  attempts to stall the inevitable. In reality,   there were mountains of evidence stacked against  him, with very little chance that he’d manage to   get away scot-free. What he’d done was not only a  treasonous breach of national defense information,   but also could have inadvertently changed the  landscape of modern warfare technology across the   entire world. So, what exactly was it that led  to one of the lead designers of the B-2 Spirit   Stealth Bomber landing himself in a supermax  prison, with no hope for release until 2032?  Well, let’s start at the beginning. Noshir Gowadia  was born in Mumbai, India. He would legally  

immigrate to the United States, and obtain a US  citizenship, before eventually starting work at   the Northrop Grumman Corporation in November 1968.  Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar, Northrop   is a pretty big deal when it comes to aerospace  engineering – both when it comes to commercially   flown aircraft, as well as those designed and  built for military use. And Noshir Gowadia would   go on to have a pretty extensive career at the  company as a design engineer, up until April 1986.  During his time at Northrop, Gowadia would  play a pivotal role in one of the company’s   most famous pursuits: the designing and creation  of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. Even if you’ve   never heard of that particular plane before,  we’d wager you’ve almost certainly seen one,   especially given the unique design of the B-2. If  you’ve ever seen movies like 2008’s Cloverfield   or Toho Pictures’ Shin Godzilla from 2016, then  you’ll know that sometimes movie militaries will   send out big bombers to take down threats, whether  they’re a giant monster rampaging through a major   city, or an alien invasion descending from above. For moments like this, Hollywood calls on the B-2.  

The bomber’s distinctive shape has made it one of  the most instantly recognized military aircraft   in the world, as have its various appearances  on screen, including cameos in Independence Day,   Armageddon, Rampage, and Captain Marvel, as  well as the previously mentioned giant monster   movies. Even a few video games have featured  appearances from this bomber; you’ll definitely   be familiar with the B-2 if you’re a fan of  the first-person shooter series Call of Duty:   Modern Warfare, where the plane appears as the  appropriately named ‘Stealth Bomber’ killstreak.  As mentioned, what makes the B-2 so instantly  recognizable is its unique silhouette. While not  

the only plane to be designed and built in this  configuration, the B-2 is what is known as a   ‘flying wing.’ Where other planes have a fuselage  and a tail at the rear, the B-2 and other similar   designs are essentially just a single broad  but very short wing; which also gives it the   added bonus of looking like something that  you’d expect Batman to fly over the skies   of Gotham City. But there’s an actual tactical  reasoning behind this particular design choice.  Around the mid-seventies, designers for military  aircraft had developed new methods for building   their planes in such a way that meant they could  avoid detection from enemy interceptor craft,   and in some cases, even missiles. When you hear  the word ‘stealth,’ sci-fi might make you think   of cloaking devices that reflect light away  from a vessel in order to make it invisible to   the naked eye. Or perhaps, if you’re a little  more knowledgeable when it comes to military   engineering, the word might bring to mind vehicles  that can avoid being picked up by radar. When   people say ‘stealth’ in this context, they really  mean what’s called low observable technology,   in other words, exactly what a lot of these  earlier stealth planes needed in order to become,   not invisible, but more unnoticeable. The idea was to build an aircraft with an  

airframe – the mechanical structure of the plane  – that could absorb radar signals, or deflect them   in a different direction, so that less of the  signal was bounced back towards the radar unit,   leading to the craft being detected. If a plane  is able to fly without appearing on radar,   it can get pretty close to strategic targets,  while avoiding being shot down – at least,   by weapons that require radar to guide them to  their targets. Of course, this doesn’t mean that   stealth planes – or other stealth vehicles, for  that matter – are invisible. Observing them with   the human eye is still a surefire way to spot  them, as well as other detection methods like   infrared scanners or acoustic locators. However,  most stealth craft were capable of flying without   detection or being tracked, especially at night. But, of course, the technology for detecting   stealth planes started to improve, so  in retaliation, new aircraft would be   needed. After all, during the time the B-2  was about to start being designed and created,  

the Cold War between the United States and  the USSR was very much in full swing. And,   of course, the ongoing development of fearsome  new weapons by both the Americans and the Soviets   brought with it the looming threat of nuclear war. The US had to consider the very real possibility   of engaging in a nuclear conflict with their  enemies, but if you think dropping a nuclear   weapon on someone is something you can do without  being detected, then you might have been playing   too much Fallout. But what if a stealth bomber  could be the one carrying that nuclear payload?  

That’d certainly make it easier to get close  enough to an enemy target without being spotted,   then drop a thermonuclear gravity bomb as opposed  to launching a big missile. And thanks to that   stealth bomber not showing up on radar, the enemy  likely wouldn’t notice until it was too late.  That was what the B-2 Spirit was primarily  designed for. Developed during the Jimmy Carter   administration, the project to create an Advanced  Technology Bomber, or ATB, went underway in the   eighties. This was around the time that Noshir  Gowadia was working for the Northrop Grumman   Corporation. Fun fact on Northrop too; in 1979,  they had a classified technology demonstration   aircraft called the Tacit Blue being developed  at Area 51, of all places – yes, that Area 51.  

Some of the stealth plane technology that was  developed during this time was partially thanks   to the work of Noshir Gowadia, and would also  later be incorporated into the designs of other   operational aircraft, including the B-2 Spirit. The initial goal in creating the B-2 stealth   bomber was to give it the necessary  characteristics needed to breach   the Soviet Union’s air defenses, which by this  point had become sophisticated enough to detect   and shoot down a number of earlier bombers.  So, in order to avoid being caught by Soviet   radar signals used in detection, the B-2 would  actually redirect the incoming radar energy,   effectively sending it away from itself  and quite literally flying under the radar.  How, exactly? Well, this came down to its overall  design. The B-2 bomber incorporates a lot of large   and complex curved shapes over its surface  in order to allow it to stay undetected. This   unique shape and structure meant that the Spirit  couldn’t be fitted with the typical vertical fins   that stabilize winged aircraft, instead relying on  flaps that trail the edge of its notched wing in   order to aid its direction in controlled rolls  and turns. Northrop’s engineers also developed  

a radar absorbent coating known as Alternate High  Frequency Material. This wouldn’t be added to the   B-2 until quite some time later, but spraying  on coatings of this stuff seriously cuts down   on maintenance time, and allows B-2s to retain  their stealthy, radar-avoiding characteristics.  So, where does Noshir Gowadia come into all this?  What exactly was his contribution to the design   of the B-2? Did he draw up schematics to make the  aircraft stealthier, or did he just insist that   the cockpit have a cup holder? Unfortunately, we  haven’t found any leaked top-secret documents to   confirm our cup holder theory. What we do know is  that Gowadia was, in part, responsible for making   the B-2’s harder to detect. Primarily though,  he was the man who got this enormous bomber   to actually fly. Armed with clearance to help  develop this top-secret technology, the trust  

given to Gowadia would inevitably prove misplaced… You see, the B-2s were actually pretty huge; in   fact, let’s talk stats! Each of the 20 operational  B-2 bombers and the additional experimental one,   all produced by Northrop, measure in at almost 70  feet (21.3m) long, standing 17 feet (5.18m) tall,   with a wingspan of 172 feet (52.43m). Or, in  more patriotic units, that’s around half the   length of an average football field (anything  but the metric system!). On top of that,  

the B-2 had to carry some 40,000 pounds (18,144kg)  of ordnance, either up to 80 Mk 82 JDAM GPS-guided   bombs – which weighed in at 500 pounds (227kg)  each – or a maximum of 16 B83 nuclear bombs,   each one a hefty 2,400 pounds (1,089kg). When you add the sheer size and weight of   the aircraft itself to the massive amount of  boom it was packing, needless to say, the B-2   would be in need of some serious engine power in  order to not only get airborne and stay flying,   but to also do so without risking detection. You  might think some big afterburners would get the   job done, but these produce infrared emissions,  meaning that any aircraft propelled by them   will likely be picked up on infrared scanners… or  worse, infrared-guided missiles. If you’re flying   a craft with big afterburners and a huge nuclear  payload, you’re going to want to avoid having your   plane shot down, after all. But afterburners  are often prime targets for surface-to-air   heat-seeking missiles; come on, afterburners,  it’s literally in the name that engines   like these produce tons and tons of heat. When it came to finding a way to make the  

B-2 avoid the potential drawbacks of afterburners,  Noshir Gowadia came up with an out-of-the-box idea   for the bomber’s propulsion system. The  Spirit would be powered by four turbofan   engines as opposed to afterburners; turbofans  are a more advanced form of turbojet engines,   which function by sucking air inwards and  compressing it. This compressed air is then   used in a combustion process by combining it with  the aircraft’s fuel. Turbofan engines consist of  

large fans that work along the same principle,  except only part of the air they draw in is used   for combustion – the rest is released as exhaust.  Overall they’re not as noisy as turbojets,   as well as being more powerful, making  them ideal for propelling an incredibly   heavy bomber that needs to remain hidden. While it wouldn’t be capable of supersonic   flight thanks to its lack of afterburners,  Gowadia’s work ensured that the B-2 would   have a far greater radius for combat, able to fly  further and reach enemy targets before using up   all the fuel it would need for the return  flight back to base. Gowadia also made some   additional design contributions to the  B-2, including its secret rear section,   which featured ports that he specially designed to  cool down the exhaust coming from the turbofans.   The propulsion system Gowadia conceptualized,  designed, and then helped to develop,   would be installed within the B-2 itself, rather  than being situated on the aircraft’s exterior. 

Owing to his contributions to the B-2’s propulsion  system, Gowadia credited himself as being the   “father of the technology that protects the B-2  stealth bomber from heat-seeking missiles.” That   sure is a lot of credit for him to graciously  award himself, but it’s perhaps not entirely   unwarranted, given the four turbofans would  make it next to impossible to detect the B-2,   at least solely via the use of infrared detection  systems. However, it also likely contributed   to the planes being ludicrously expensive. The considerable costs behind developing and   operating the B-2 Spirit garnered the Advanced  Technology Bomber its own share of controversy   among members of the United States Congress at the  time. On average, the development, engineering,   testing, and eventual production of the B-2 cost  around $2.13 billion US dollars. If you factor  

in inflation, that would be just over $4 billion  today! Building each of the craft cost almost $740   million dollars, along with an average of a little  under $930 million per plane in total procurement   costs. That’s everything from spare parts,  providing onboard equipment and retrofitting   each plane. In short, the B-2 is one of the  most expensive aircraft in the entire world.  Whilst the original plan was to produce 132 B-2  stealth bombers, delays hindered the project,   as well as causing things to get even pricier.  Add to that the fact that, by the nineties,   the Cold War that the B-2s were being built  for was already winding down. The need for   a stealth aircraft specifically designed to  conduct air strikes and even nuclear bombings   deep in Soviet-controlled territory was fading,  and once the Soviet Union formally dissolved,   United States lawmakers saw little need for  so many of these expensive planes. Ultimately,  

over the late eighties and early nineties, the  purchase of B-2s by the United States Air Force   from the Northrop Grumman Corporation was shrunk,  dropping from the planned 132 to only 21, one   experimental unit, and twenty operational bombers.  Their chief role was also changed; the B-2s would   still be capable of nuclear strikes, but would  be used for more conventional weapons delivery.  Despite no longer being needed for the  purpose they’d originally been designed for,   the US had a handful of these bombers now – and in  true American fashion, having them also meant they   flaunted them. After all, the capabilities of the  B-2 Spirit bombers certainly weren’t anything to   be sniffed at. They could perform attack runs from  altitudes as high as 50,000 feet (15,240m); for  

comparison, commercial airlines tend to only fly  on average between 30,000 feet (9,144m) to 40,000   feet (12,192m) in the air. B-2s can travel  more than 6,000 nautical miles at a time,   even reaching up to 10,000 if they are refueled  mid-flight. That’s right, these bad boys can   not only carry enough explosives to wipe a small  country off the map, but can also have their fuel   tanks topped up while they are still flying! This  allows these bombers to reach practically anywhere   in the world within a matter of mere hours. The B-2 Spirit stealth bombers entered into active   service in a year, 1997, around a decade after  Northrop Grumman had begun producing the newly   designed aircraft. As recent as 2015, the twenty  operational B-2s were still in active service   within the United States Air Force, with plans to  continue operating them until as late as the year   2032, when they’re set to be replaced by the more  advanced B-21 Raider, also designed and built by   our old pals at the Northrop Grumman Corporation. As for the B-2’s effectiveness in combat,  

the stealth bomber would get a chance  to show off exactly what it could do not   long after being entered into service. From  1989 onwards, the then President of Serbia,   Slobodan Milosevic, was enacting a campaign of  ethnic cleansing against Albanians from Kosovo,   a small, landlocked country in Southeast Europe,  right in the centre of the Balkans. By the time   of 1995, the violence between Serbian forces  and Kosovar Albanians had resulted in the loss   of a quarter of a million innocent lives. Warnings from the United Nations Security   Council suggested that this was leading  to an impending humanitarian crisis, and   when a UN team travelled to Kosovo to observe the  situation directly, they witnessed Serbian forces   attacking unarmed civilians. Peace negotiations  held in 1999 saw more of their forces, loyal   to Slobodan Milosevic, amassing on the border  between Serbia and Kosovo, and when the Serbian   president ultimately rejected all proposals for a  peaceful solution, he sent forty thousand troops   into Kosovo, leading to a refugee crisis. In response, the North Atlantic Treaty  

Organisation, better known as NATO, launched what  it had called Operation Allied Force. The goal was   to force Milosevic to withdraw his troops from  Kosovo, but NATO leaders had opposed the use of   ground troops to achieve their goal – instead,  this was all about air superiority. Six B-2   stealth bombers were among the massive number  of planes that were ordered to launch attacks   against various targets. The three phase plan  of Operation Allied Force was to first strike at   Serbian air defence systems, then their military  installations that lay on both the north and south   of the Kosovo border, including air strikes that  would target the Serbian capital city of Belgrade.  This was the first ever combat deployment  of the B-2 stealth bomber, and it certainly   wasn’t a slouch. They were flown non stop for  thirty one hours, all the way from Whiteman Air  

Force Base in Missouri over to Kosovo, only to  fly all the way back after carrying out their   attacks. Despite only being involved in one per  cent of the strikes that took place within the   first eight weeks of Operation Allied Force, B-2  bombers were responsible for destroying thirty   three per cent of all Serbian ground targets. That would be far from the list of accolades   that the B-2 has achieved during the course of its  operational history. It also holds the record for   the longest aerial combat mission of all time. In  2001, six B-2 Spirits were sent to Afghanistan to   support Operation Enduring Freedom, the name given  to the first stage of the War in Afghanistan,   part of the United States government’s larger  War on Terror. B-2 stealth bombers were among   the first American aircraft to enter Afghanistan  airspace, breaking a world record in the process. 

Once again setting off from Whiteman Air Force  Base, the bombers flew for forty four hours,   making it all the way to Afghanistan with only  a forty five minute pit stop in between, during   which the planes were serviced and the active  crews were switched out. Apparently, the entire   time this was happening, their engines didn’t even  stop running. Once that had successfully carried   out air strikes on their targets in Afghanistan,  the B-2s would once again make the round trip all   the way back to Missouri, taking thirty hours.  This meant that the entire mission lasted for   almost seventy consecutive hours, with the Spirits  staying airborne for almost the entire time!  The B-2’s record, while impressive,  has hardly been a perfect one. In 2008,  

one of the Spirit bombers, referred to as the  Spirit of Kansas, crashed on a runway only a few   moments after taking off from Andersen Air Force  Base in Guam. This was the first operational loss   of a B-2 bomber, but as of 2024, it remains the  only time that one has ever been lost. Still,   that’s not all that bad, right? One crash  since the nineties. Wait, that one crash   cost how much? Estimated to have run up a bill  of almost one and a half billion US dollars, the   Andersen Base B-2 Accident is considered the  most expensive aircraft crash in history. 

As for the cause of the incident? The plane was  wet. No, seriously. An investigation launched into   the crash determined that heavy rains had led to  moisture making its way into the plane’s air data   sensors. These provide the pilot and crew with  crucial info while they’re in the air, including   helping them to calculate airspeed and altitude.  Condensation within the plane's instruments meant  

the on board computers miscalculated the correct  airspeed and angle of attack, causing the flight   control system to essentially switch to  a different setting the moment the wheels   left the runway. The result? One big crash, and  a lot of mess to clear up. Luckily though, there   were no fatalities. Only two crew members were  aboard the Spirit of Kansas B-2 when it crashed,   and while they were injured, they managed to  survive far more intact than the bomber itself.  Of course, an examination into the cause of an  accidental crash isn’t the only investigation   that would occur linked to the B-2 bomber. More  specifically, into the activities of one of its   core designers: Noshir Gowadia. While his work  for the Northrop Grumman Corporation had quite  

literally put the B-2 in the air, and kept it from  drawing the attention of heat seeking missiles,   by the time the planes were complete, Gowadia  had already departed from the company. After   spending twenty years working for one of  the United States’ top defence contractors,   Gowadia left in the late eighties. He would  set up his own consultancy company, N.S.   Gowadia Incorporated, in 1999, but for the most  part, he was free to relax in his multi million   dollar house in Hawaii. His time designing  stealth aircraft was at an end… or was it? 

In October of 2005, Gowadia received quite the  unexpected house call. Answering the knocks on   his door, he no doubt would’ve been shocked  to see federal agents standing on his porch,   demanding to search the premises. Overall,  they searched his residence twice, before   Noshir Gowadia was arrested on the twenty sixth  of October, and charged with providing top secret   defence information to unauthorised parties. And  a lot of that secret information was related to  

the B-2 stealth bomber. If he hadn’t already been  feeling anxious before, Gowadia certainly was now.  After all, he hadn’t been expecting to get caught… You see, when Gowadia left his position at   Northrop and started up his own consulting  company, he did so with the intention of   making a lot of money. His reasoning  was, while working at Northrop Grumman,   he had been working for a salary, but by selling  his expertise to the highest bidder. He’d be able  

to pocket any profits he garnered consulting,  especially by doing business as N.S. Gowadia Inc,   a company literally named after himself. And one  that he could use to market himself as the “father   of the technology that protects the B-2 stealth  bomber from heat-seeking missiles''. Remember that   one? Oh, it wasn’t just Gowadia patting himself  on the back; that was how he marketed himself.  Working as a consultant, he began teaching classes  and providing what he referred to as “research and   development, engineering services, technical  consulting and any business related thereto.”  

What that actually meant was he was travelling  abroad to share the secret information he’d picked   up from his time with the Northrop Grumman  Corporation and, in return, receiving a nice   chunk of change. Although, not quite enough. His company only brought in gross receipts of   around seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars  – oh, to be able to call a sum like that ‘not   enough’. But, in actuality, it wasn’t; remember  that multi million dollar mansion in Hawaii that   Gowadia lived at? Well, during the early years of  his consultancy company, he was trying to buy the   land on the island of Maui needed to build the  almost seven thousand square foot house… a house   later valued at just over one point six million  US dollars. Add a mortgage on top, and that   luxury home was starting to look pretty pricey. Then, in 2002, Gowadia sent a fax – hey, remember   those? – to representatives of at least three  foreign governments. The fax in question contained  

a top secret United States Air Force document  detailing the technology that he’d developed   for the B-2 bomber. Specifically, it disclosed  how the Spirit was able to prevent detection by   infrared. But those weren’t the only secrets  he decided to spill – there were plenty more,   some that had a direct impact on the  military technology of other countries. 

Between the years of 2003 and 2005, Noshir Gowadia  would make a number of trips to Chengdu, in China,   six in total. Why there? Well, how about  two reasons: for one, Chengdu was home to   the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, as well as  being the location of the company that developed   China’s very own stealth plane: the Chengdu J-20  stealth fighter. It is widely believed that,   during his time in China, Gowadia used his  expertise, as well as top secret information,   to directly contribute to the design and  development of a Chinese cruise missile.   He was thought to have provided details that would  have made the weapons more effective against other   American air to air missiles. Gowadia even  went as far as to try and cover his tracks   by asking border agents not to put immigration  stamps in his passport when he visited China. 

During this same time frame, he was also  thought to have sold classified stealth   technology information to the government of  Switzerland, and to various businesses based   in Israel and Germany. Gowadia also provided  even more classified information that he’d had   access to while he was working for Northrop, to  individuals attending a course he was teaching.   The course focused on low observable technology  – and remember, that’s military engineering lingo   for ‘stealth’. All that is known about the people  present is that they were from another unspecified  

country; this country and the identity of  the individuals that attended Gowadia’s   course have never been publicly revealed. Also, back in 2002, Gowadia send another   fax – he should really have stopped using that fax  machine of his – containing a proposal for another   unspecified foreign country. This contained  plans for infrared suppression technology to   be installed in military aircraft, similarly  to the stealth technology Gowadia had helped   develop for the B-2 bomber. This fax was  also said to have included a classified   document that specifically mentioned some  of the United States’ own defence systems.  Upon his arrest, Noshir Gowadia was charged with  a single count of wilfully communicating national   defence information to a party that wasn’t  permitted to receive it. Under federal law,   that’s considered an act of espionage; more  than just being illegal, it’s treasonous.  

When his Hawaii mansion was searched, federal  officers uncovered numerous classified documents,   illegal keepsakes from Gowadia’s days  working for the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  When put on the spot, Gowadia admitted to his  crimes, confessing that he had knowingly shared   classified information, not only verbally and by  sharing documents, but also through presentations   at the courses he’d taught, as well as  sending secret information in letters and   through any other methods you can imagine. Arguably even worse was his reasoning:   it was all so he could establish a  sense of credibility with the potential   customers of his consultancy company, so  he could secure for future business and,   as a result, net himself more money. On top of the  dissemination of classified defence information,   Gowadia was also slapped with charges relating to  his assistance in designing stealth technology for   those Chinese cruise missiles, as well as money  laundering and tax evasion also added to the pile. 

Much like the development of the B-2 that had  granted him access to the secrets he stole and   sold, Gowadia’s trial was subject to numerous  delays. While it was initially scheduled for   July of 2007, it had to be postponed until  February of the following year. Initially,   this was so that Gowadia’s legal counsel could be  subjected to a rigorous background check. Given   the highly sensitive nature of the classified  secrets he’d been sharing, in order for them   to be submitted as evidence, the Department  of Justice had to scrupulously investigate   everyone who’d be partaking in the trial. Then,  the trial was delayed even further, in large part  

thanks to Gowadia proving uncooperative when  it came to actually working with his lawyers,   causing assessments to be made into his mental  wellbeing and fitness to stand trial. In 2009,   his defence tried to argue that Gowadia suffered  from narcissistic personality disorder, however,   this was dismissed by US Magistrate Judge Kevin  S.C. Chang, who said that Gowadia’s unwillingness   to work with his defence lawyers didn’t mean  he was incapable of doing so. If anything,   Gowadia was just trying to delay the inevitable. The trial eventually took place in 2010, with  

opening statements given on the twelfth of April,  followed by nearly four whole months of testimony,   concluding on the twenty ninth of July.  Then, the jury spent five days deliberating,   before eventually reaching a guilty verdict on  the tenth of August that year. In January 2011,   Gowadia received his sentence. While he could  have landed in prison for the rest of his life,   he instead faced thirty two years behind bars.  Noshir Gowadia is scheduled for release in  

February of 2032; in an ironic twist of fate,  that also happens to be the exact same year   that the B-2 stealth bomber is set to be  replaced and retired from active service.   The plane that he helped get in the air will be  flying no more by the time Gowadia is released.  But the story doesn’t quite end there. Thanks  to the secret information that Gowadia sold to  

foreign governments, and his involvement  with China, it has long been suspected   that he either directly contributed to, or at  least indirectly helped start, the development   of three other stealth plane projects that  are currently being worked on by the Chinese   military. The first of these is a heavily  modified variant of the J-11B, an advanced,   twin engine, multi purpose fighter jet built by  the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. This newer,   modified stealth version, the Shenyang J-16 Silent  Flanker, not only features stealth capabilities   like those Gowadia helped develop for the B-2, but  also comes equipped with internal weapons bays,   engine intakes that are optimised for undetected  flight, as well as canted vertical fins.  Then, there’s the Mighty Dragon – and no, not the  ones from legends and folklore. The Chengdu J-20,  

as mentioned earlier, happened to emerge from  the same city Gowadia was reported to have   made several trips to. Developed by the Chengdu  Aerospace Corporation, the J-20 is intended for   use by the People's Liberation Army Air Force. It  is capable of carrying out precision strikes using   long range air to air missiles. The J-20 lacks any  kind of internal auto cannons or rotary cannons,   but this is because it was designed to be an air  superiority fighter, making precise, devastating   attacks without getting into short range dogfights  with other aircraft. When the Chengdu J-20 entered   active service in March 2017, it made China the  second country in the world, and the first in all   of Asia, to have a stealth aircraft in operation. As for bombers, China was developing the Xian H-8,  

a prototype stealth bomber. Said to house between  four and six large engines under its wings,   the H-8 would have served as a tactical,  stealth and heavy bomber all rolled into   one aircraft. However, this project was said  to have been abandoned back in the seventies.   So far, there seems to have been no attempt by  China to replicate the stealth technology of   the B-2 that was responsible for developing, and  selling to fuel his own greed. For now, at least.

2024-05-24 09:00

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