Russia Arrest Scientist Working On Hypersonic Aircraft For High Treason

Russia Arrest Scientist Working On Hypersonic Aircraft For High Treason
A screen shot from Russian TV allegedly showing a MiG-31 fighter jet releasing the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a test. (file photo)

Russia’s FSB state security service has arrested a Russian scientist Anatoly Gubanov suspected of handing over secret aviation development data.

Associate Professor Anatoly Gubanov, 63, is feared to have passed highly classified aviation design data to the West.

Moscow’s Lefortovo District Court has ruled to arrest Russian scientist Anatoly Gubanov suspected of high treason.

“The court has chosen custody for a term of one month and 30 days, i.e. until February 2, 2021, as a measure of restraint for Anatoly Aleksandrovich Gubanov suspected of committing a crime stipulated by Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code (High Treason),” the press secretary said.

According to a source in law enforcement, Gubanov handed over secret hypersonic development data abroad. He worked on the international project HEXAFLY-INT (High-speed EXperimental FLY Vehicles-INTernational) collaboration with the EU for a civil hypersonic airliner.

In the HEXAFLY-INT project, Russia is represented by Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) named after P.I. Baranov, Flight Research Institute (LII) named after M.M. Gromov, and Department of Aeromechanics and Flight Engineering (DAFE) of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

The aim of the project, started in 2014, is to explore the concept of high-speed civilian aircraft. The aircraft is supposed to cruise at Mach numbers 7-8.

According to another source of the agency, Gubanov conducted research in the area of supersonic speeds and high-speed aircraft power units.

Earlier, Rector of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) Nikolai Kudryavtsev told TASS that the university is not Gubanov’s main place of employment. MIPT website mentions Gubanov among its lecturers. The rector assumed that his main place of employment is the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI).

On December 3, Moscow’s Lefortovo District Court ruled to arrest Gubanov until February 2, 2021, suspected of committing a crime stipulated by Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code (High Treason). If convicted, Gubanov may face up to 20 years in prison.

Anatoly Gubanov is a representative of the dynasty well known in the Russian aircraft-building industry. Gubanov’s father-in-law is Leonid Shkadov, a prominent scientist and one of the heads of the Soviet aviation industry.

Gubanov has been working at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) since 1979 and heads one of the sections at NIO-2 (the department of aircraft and rocket aerodynamics). He deals with high-speed aircraft. Three out of his five children are also working in the aviation industry.

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