Washington: A 62-year old India-born engineer in Maui, Hawaii, who worked on the B-2 stealth bomber, has been charged with using secret military information to help China build a stealth cruise missile.

A federal grand jury has upgraded a former indictment against Noshir S. Gowadia, originally charged with selling information involving the B-2 aircraft to three unnamed countries. He now additionally faces charges of assisting China with designing and testing an exhaust system nozzle that protects a cruise missile from detection.

Mr. Gowadia, a naturalised American citizen from India, has been slapped with an 18-count superseding indictment charging him with sharing secret military information with representatives of China to benefit Beijing or harm the United States.

``As charged in the superseding indictment, the defendant in this case attempted to profit from his know-how and his knowledge of sensitive military technology,'' Kenneth Wainstein, Assistant Attorney-General for the National Security Division, has said.

Under the new charges Mr. Gowadia faces the death penalty as also the possibility of life in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. PTI