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“It was not just the Chinese who got parts of the airplane. Anyone who wanted took them. The Russians ended up with an entire wing,” Blic quoted Milovan Azdejkovic, who in 1999 was a department head at the Military Technical Institute in Belgrade, as saying.

While not completely invisible to radar, the F-117’s shape and radar-absorbent coating make detection extremely difficult. The radar cross-section was further reduced because the wings’ leading and trailing edges were composed of nonmetallic honeycomb structures that do not reflect radar rays.

Experts say insight into this critical technology, and particularly the plane’s secret radiation-absorbent exterior coating, would have enhanced China‘s stealth know-how significantly.

The newspaper report refuting the allegations that China used the F-117 technology comes one day after a U.S. federal judge sentenced an engineer of an earlier generation of stealth aircraft, the B-2 bomber, to 32 years in prison for selling military secrets to China.

Noshir Gowadia, 66, who was born in India, was convicted in August on 14 counts, including communicating national defense 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-a-month mortgage on his luxurious multimillion dollar home overlooking the ocean on the Hawaiian island of Maui. They say he pocketed at least $110,000 by selling military secrets.

The defense argued Gowadia provided only unclassified information to China.

Associated Press writer Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.