A retired professor and a Knoxville-based technology company are the subject of an 18-count indictment by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Tennessee. According to a Department of Justice May 20 release, J. Reece Roth and Atmospheric Glow Technologies Inc. conspired “to defraud the US Air Force and disclose restricted US military data about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” to foreign nationals without first obtaining the required US government license or approval. According to the indictment, the conspiracy between the 70-year-old Roth, a professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee, and AGT occurred between January 2004 and May 2006 and related to a “restricted Air Force contract to develop plasma actuators for a munitions-type UAV.” The indictment further states that they attempted to transmit data to “one or more foreign nationals, including a citizen from the People’s Republic of China,” who was a graduate research assistant at the university. The release states, “The University of Tennessee was victimized by the conspirators and cooperated throughout” the FBI-led investigation. Further, the indictment notes that Roth departed for China in May 2006 with “multiple documents, which were subject to export controls.” US Attorney James Dedrick said that a former AGT physicist, Daniel Max Sherman, 37, already “pleaded guilty to conspiracy.”
March 4, 2024
The Air Force has published images of an operational hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid-Response Weapon (ARRW) in Guam; a disclosure possibly meant to send a message to China but which raises questions about the future of the ARRW, which the Air Force insists it is not planning to procure in quantity.