China's armed forces recruiting dozens of British ex military pilots in 'threat to UK interests'


Senior member
Apr 12, 2003
I am surprised this is NOT illegal in the UK as this a clear case of espionage to utilize human knowledge to learn about western aircraft and the strategies the fighter pilots use in a war effort. Its really crazy to see how in capitalist societies we see there is a price for everything and the Chinese and other Western countries adversaries (Russia, IRAN, China etc...) exploits this by offering money for influence and knowledge. This loophole in the UK law needs to be closed ASAP and charge anyone who shares military secrets whether current or retired military personal with the enemy should be charged with treason!

China has recruited dozens of former British military pilots to teach the Chinese armed forces how to defeat western warplanes and helicopters in a "threat to UK interests", officials have revealed.
One official said some 30 mainly ex-fast jet but also some helicopter pilots - lured by annual salaries of around £240,000 - are currently in China training pilots for the People's Liberation Army, in what a defence analyst described as a stunning breach of security.

A retired senior Royal Air Force officer said: "Wow… that is appalling. What were they thinking?"

Beijing is actively trying to hire many more serving and former military pilots and other specialists from across the RAF, the Royal Navy and the British Army as well as personnel from other western nations, the western official said.

The situation is so grave, the Ministry of Defense's Defense Intelligence service on Tuesday issued a "threat alert" to warn serving and former military personnel against such approaches.

China is using third-party head-hunters, including a company based in South Africa, to target personnel, the western official said.

The official named the company as the Test Flying Academy of South Africa, though stressed it had no connection with the South African government.



Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
I remember reading, a few years back, a political thriller about a military conflict between Israel and Saudi Arabia... In the book, the Saudis had hired American fighter pilots to fly their jets and train their local troops, so when the war came, they inflicted grievous harm upon the Israeli airforce.

Unfortunately, dictatorships have very deep pockets, and they can spend lavish amounts of money in order to hire the best (and greediest) mercenaries. All in the name of "free market" principles, of course...


Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
Along the same lines, greed trumps ethics and verticality:

Western law firms’ willingness to work with the man in charge of a mercenary network accused of widespread human rights abuses raises questions: "Law firms end up acting effectively as agents of foreign actors"


Jan 14, 2013


Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2007
we covered some of this in the Ukraine thread.
TimesRadio covered it yesterday.
there is some additional info from a UK MP, apparently this has happened in the past with US pilots and they were stripped of citizenship. they are looking into drafting similar laws to prevent this.
since some may not have got around to watching Perun's latest vid, he covers the miracle that Ukrainian airspace is still contested. mostly due to both sides using s300/s400 iads.

his warning is that russia has way more reserve sams for their systems than UKR does. so every time they use a ~$200k missile to take down a $20k drone, there is a cost in availability for use against a more important target later on as well as financial cost. nato members with leftover s300 units/ammo are finite. the upside is the nasam can use sidewinders and amraam or any other nato standard aam. but that is still expensive.

UKR needs drone jammers, laser or time fused spaa(ie gepard) asap as the cost per kill vs the $20k iranian loiter munition is much better. and there arent enough of them to cover the frontline units if they are covering kyiv or other economic infrastructure.

if UKR cant maintain longrange iads, rus could start using its air force at high altitude rather than the risky low altitude runs vs all the manpads.

nato needs a counter drone system yesterday especially with china on the horizon. General(ret) Ben Hodges did an interview where he mentioned that Xi gave china's military until 2027(end of his 3rd term) to be ready to take taiwan. (ill try to find the video)

interview time indexed

link from Perun on rus sam batteries moving to UKR.
per the Ben Hodges vid, xi told the chinese military that they need to be ready to take Taiwan by 2027(last year of xi's 3rd term). given how badly the russian forces have done in combined arms action, china is going to need to do some extensive testing to make sure all their systems actually work as advertised.