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Prison term for stealth bomber spy

A former B-2 stealth bomber engineer has been sentenced to 32 years in a US prison for selling military secrets to China in the latest of several high-profile cases of Chinese espionage in the US.

Chief US District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said Noshir Gowadia, 66, would likely be in his late 80s by the time he is released if he gets credit for good behaviour in prison.

"He broke his oath of loyalty to this country," Ms Mollway said. "He was found guilty of marketing valuable technology to foreign countries for personal gain."

Gowadia, who was born in India, was convicted in August on 14 counts, including communicating national defence information to aid a foreign nation and violating the arms export control act.

Prosecutors said Gowadia helped China design a stealth cruise missile to get money to pay the 15,000 US dollar -a-month mortgage on his luxurious multi-million dollar home overlooking the ocean on Maui.

They said he pocketed at least 110,000 US dollars by selling military secrets.

The defence argued Gowadia only provided unclassified information to China and was innocent.

His son, Ashton Gowadia, told reporters the jury was not able to see documents that would absolve his father of the crimes because they were deemed classified. He said his father's defence team would present these during an appeal.

"My father would never, ever do anything to intentionally to hurt this country," Ashton Gowadia said. "We hope the convictions will be overturned and he'll be able to go home."

Assistant US Attorney Ken Sorenson, the lead prosecutor, had asked Ms Mollway to sentence Gowadia to life in prison. But he said 32 years was a stiff and appropriate sentence given Gowadia's age.

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