Thirty former RAF pilots are paid £250,000 each to train Chinese to shoot down Western aircraft

Thirty former RAF pilots are paid £250,000 each to train Chinese to shoot down Western aircraft. By Mark Nicol.

Former British fighter pilots are training the Chinese to shoot down Western aircraft, officials warned last night.

Up to 30 pilots have recently moved to China after securing £250,000-a-year contracts to teach Western flying procedures, it was revealed.

Due to legal loopholes, there is nothing the Armed Forces can do to prevent the Beijing brain drain — a potential threat to national security in which Chinese pilots could be given a lethal advantage in any future conflict.

Many more top Royal Air Force pilots have been approached by intermediaries acting on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army but declined the offers, sources said.

Western officials said last night Britain was discussing with allies how to respond to the issue as they are similarly affected.

The Daily Mail has been told fast-jet pilots from Australia and Canada have also been lured to China on huge contracts. …

It comes as the UK redesignates China from ‘systemic competitor’ status to a ‘threat’ to British interests.

An official said last night: ‘Serving and former advanced jet pilots are being openly head-hunted to train People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pilots in China. …

The Chinese use a private flying academy in South Africa to act as an intermediary as any direct approaches to RAF fast-jet pilots by Beijing would be intercepted by the security services. …

Former UK defence intelligence officer Philip Ingram said last night: ‘This is a potentially massive counter-intelligence issue.