A Chinese man has pleaded guilty in a “years-long” conspiracy to hack into U.S. networks to steal sensitive information, including data on the C-17 cargo plane and fighter jet aircraft, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, 50, a citizen and resident of the People’s Republic of China, pleaded guilty to the crime in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, according to a press release from the department.
A China-based businessman who worked in the aviation and aerospace fields, Su is accused of playing a role “in the criminal conspiracy to steal military technical data, including data relating to the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and certain fighter jets produced for the U.S. military,” it states.
The release didn’t specify which type of fighter aircraft, though American officials have long pointed to similarities in China’s latest designs as evidence of its successful theft of technical data from the U.S.
During a congressional hearing last fall, Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, noted that China’s Chengdu J-20 twin-engine stealth fighter resembles the F-22 Raptor made by Lockheed Martin Corp., while the Shenyang J-31 twin-engine multi-role fighter resembles the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter single-engine design also made by Lockheed.
“I’m saying we know the J-20 is pretty much mirroring our F-22,” Manchin said. “We know that their J-31 is pretty much mirroring our F-35. We we know this and the cost to the American taxpayers … why wouldn’t we take hard actions against them? I just don’t understand why we wouldn’t retaliate from a financial standpoint.”
Full article: Chinese Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing US Military Aircraft Data (DefenseTech)