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China offers UK former fighter pilots £237,000 to train its armed forces

J-15 Fying Shark Naval Fighter

Former British fighter pilots are being lured to help train China’s armed forces.

More than 30 highly experienced retired pilots have taken up the offer – said to pay up to £237,000.

China urgently needs to up-grade its fast-jet tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The recruits from all the UK armed services – bring years of experience flying Typhoons, Jaguars, Harriers, Tornados, and helicopters.


China wants to bring its People’s Liberation Army forces up to NATO standards.

However, British intelligence chiefs are alarmed by ex-fighter pilots taking up the offer.

Some fear the UK’s national security could be threatened.

An MoD spokesman said:

“We are taking decisive steps to stop Chinese recruitment schemes attempting to headhunt serving and former UK Armed Forces pilots to train People’s Liberation Army personnel in the People’s Republic of China.”

A defence expert told the BBC:

“It is a lucrative package that is being offered to people.

“Money is a strong motivator.”

The Defence Intelligence service will warn ex-military pilots against working for the Chinese.

Former pilots are not banned from training Chinese armed forces.

But steps are being taken to mitigate the risks of such schemes.

There is no suggestion that former pilots have broken the Official Secrets Act or committed a criminal offence.

It’s believed former servicemen were recruited through a third party.

Most are thought to be in their late-50s and left the services years ago.


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