Unprecedented Steps Taken in the UK to Prevent RAF Pilots From Training Chinese Military

Texan T1 is one of RAF's fast jet training platforms 6 photos
Photo: RAF
Texan T1 Training AircraftHawk T2 Training AircraftTutor t1 Training AircraftTexan T1 Training AircraftTexan T1 Training Aircraft
Officials in the UK are planning to modify legislation so that former pilots from the Royal Air Force (RAF) cannot use the skills they acquired during their service to train their Chinese counterparts. The surprising announcement was made after more than 30 members of the RAF personnel were allegedly recruited by China.
UK’s Armed Forces minister, James Heappey, announced that the law will be modified in order to prevent British military pilots from providing training to the Chinese military, The Guardian reports. The statement came in addition to rumors about the British defense intelligence issuing a rare “threat alert” on this subject.

Heappey explained that although China is “an important training partner,” it’s also a “competitor” trying to access military secrets. And it seems that it has done so by using financial incentives to get experienced pilots on its side.

According to the Guardian, the new regulations would be in the form of a two-strike rule, which means that pilots will get one warning. After that, if they commit the same act, they will be prosecuted. This is meant to act as a risk management tool in addition to the existing Official Secrets Act.

The MoD apparently confirmed that China is actively recruiting both former and serving RAF pilots to train those in the People’s Liberation Army. Through these tools and others that will also be implemented in the future, the MoD is trying to respond to what it considers “a security challenge.”

UK’s RAF uses several aircraft for pilot training purposes. The Tutor T1 (Grob Tutor T.Mk 1) provides elementary flying training for the University Air Squadron (UAS). The Beechcraft Texan T MK1 (Texan T1) replaced the Tucano T.Mk 1 for basic fast jet training. Next, the Hawk T.Mk 2 is meant for more complex tactical environments connected to advanced, realistic fast jet training.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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