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China recruits British ex-military pilots so they can learn how to beat Western warplanes

Officials have revealed that China has hired dozens of ex-military pilots from Britain to teach its armed forces how they can defeat helicopters and warplanes from western countries. This is in response to a “threat against UK interests”.

According to one official, around 30 ex-fast jet and some helicopter pilots were lured by annual salaries in the region of PS240,000. They are currently in China training pilots in support of the People’s Liberation Army in what a defense analyst called a shocking breach of security.

An Royal Air Force retired officer stated: “Wow…that is appalling. They were thinking of what?

According to a western official, Beijing is actively seeking out former military pilots, as well as other specialists, from the Royal Navy, the RAF, and the British Army, as well as personnel from other west countries.

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This is a serious situation, so the Defence Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Defence issued Tuesday a “threat alarm” to warn military personnel and veterans against any such attempts.

According to a western official, China uses third-party head-hunters including one based in South Africa to target personnel.

Although the official referred to the company as Test Flying Academy of South Africa (the Test Flying Academy of South Africa), he stressed that it was not connected with the South African government.

Read more about China

Sky News reached out to the company to inquire about the allegation.


UK seems powerless to stop recruitment plans

According to the western official, the schemes were “a threat” to the UK and western interests and were therefore viewed with “concern” and “disapproval” by government officials.

The official stated that all ex-service personnel from Britain have accepted the job to train Chinese military pilots.

Despite the danger to national security, it appears that the UK was unable to stop recruitment schemes or force ex-service personnel to return home.

Official Secrets Act: The Official Secrets Act would be considered a criminal offense.

According to the Ministry of Defence, it is working to make it harder for China to steal British military talent.

The official from the west stated that they are working to discourage former and current pilots from being recruited. He also said that China should not perceive our silence as a sign of our approval or acceptance of this activity.

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China is facing a steep learning curve when it comes to military combat, according to the former director of operations at Ministry of Defence.


“It is definitely more than a trickle”

Since the COVID lockdown at the end of 2019, the spike in recruitment was evident.

Officials could not immediately provide an estimate of the number of ex-military personnel from Britain who were ever hired by the Chinese.

They could not give an estimate of how many former and current personnel are being targeted, but they said that it was more than a trickle.

Officials did not reveal the identities of the ex-military pilots from Britain who are currently working in China. However, officials stated that many of them were in their 50s and had left military service a few years ago.

The official from the west stated that “without us taking action, such activity would almost certainly cause damage to the UK’s defense advantage”

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A US-China War is a serious risk, according to


What is China trying achieve?

The official from China stated that China is looking for pilots who have long experience flying British and NATO warplanes. This includes the Harrier jump jet and Typhoon fighter jets.

It’s not about training Chinese pilots to fly Western jets. The official stated that it is taking Western pilots with great experience to help China develop its military air force tactics, and capabilities.

“It’s the Chinese understanding the most recent generation of tactics, approaches and capabilities, if the Chinese military were to find themselves in situations against these types of assets.”

These included British military helicopters like Wildcat or Merlin.

China is believed to have tried to recruit ex-pilots who were trained on the F35 fast jet, a top secret American fifth generation fast jet.

According to the official, such efforts have been unsuccessful so far. Each of these aircraft, which are worth more than PS100million each, use stealth technology that is highly sensitive and was developed in collaboration with the United States. They are prime targets for espionage.

Image U.S.Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter Jet


What can the UK do to prevent former pilots from being recruited?

The Ministry of Defence stated that efforts are being made to strengthen security legislation and to increase the number of employment contracts in an effort to discourage China from attracting more pilots.

A spokesperson stated that “We are taking decisive measures to stop Chinese recruitment strategies attempting to headhunt serving or former UK Armed Forces Pilots to train People’s Liberation Army personnel within the People’s Republic of China.”

“All ex-service personnel and current personnel are subject to the Official Secrets Act. We are currently reviewing the use confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements across Defence. The new National Security Bill will provide additional tools to address contemporary security challenges, including this one.”

Sky News has more information:

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“A rehearsal for war”

The revelations were described by Francis Tusa (defense analyst), as “gobsmacking”.

Sky News: Mr Tusa stated that China was an enemy.

“As such, British subjects have decided that teaching our enemy how we defeat them is best for their interests. This is extremely frightening.

These revelations were made as new legislation was introduced to parliament Tuesday. It aims to tighten the UK’s oversight over individuals and companies working for hostile states or foreign entities, and to try to influence domestic politics.

The Foreign Influence Registration Scheme, an amendment to the National Security Bill will require foreign governments to hire anyone to report their activities or face prosecution. This is part of the effort to crack down on espionage.

MI5’s head stated that the UK was in a strategic battle with countries seeking to undermine our national security and democratic institutions. To defend ourselves proportionately, but firmly, we need modern, cutting-edge tools and powers.

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