HONOLULU (AP) – An engineer who called himself the father of the technology that protects the B-2 stealth bomber from heat-seeking missiles has been arrested and accused of selling U.S. military secrets involving the aircraft to a foreign country, the FBI said.

Noshir S. Gowadia, 61, of Haiku, was arrested Wednesday in Honolulu.

According to the FBI, Gowadia in 2002 faxed a document detailing infrared technology classified top secret by the Air Force to a foreign official. He also provided classified information to two other countries, the FBI said.

The government would not identify the countries or disclose how much he allegedly received.

“Suffice it to say that this is a very sensitive, ongoing investigation,” said Charles Goodwin, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Honolulu office, fending off most questions at a news conference Thursday.

Gowadia, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in India, was jailed without bail on a charge of willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Gowadia was an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corp. from 1968 to 1986 and helped design parts of the B-2’s propulsion system that make it difficult for enemy missiles to detect the bomber. The technology remains highly classified.

According to an affidavit filed Wednesday by the FBI, Gowadia marketed himself to foreign officials and other foreigners as the “father” of the B-2’s unique infrared suppressing propulsion system.

Federal agents searched Gowadia’s home Oct. 13 and found classified documents from his days at Northrop and as a contract engineer in the early 1990s at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, according to court documents. The FBI said Gowanda admitted during questioning that he provided classified information to about eight countries.

Gowadia’s public defender, Donna Gray, did not comment on the case. She said Gowadia’s family is seeking to hire a private attorney.

According to state records, Gowadia and his wife own an engineering and consulting company.

AP-ES-10-27-05 2241EDT

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