Chinese air force employed former officers to counter NATO capabilities

British news outlet Sky News reported on October 18, 2022 that the Chinese military air force had hired former British army officers to accelerate its pilots and soldiers’ training. On October 21, 2022, French newspaper Le Figaro reported that French instructors had also been retained, in exchange for three-year lucrative contracts of 20,000 euros per month. Sky News alleged that British instructors were more numerous than the French and estimated around 30 Royal Air Force former pilots were involved in trainings provided at the “Test Flying Academy of South Africa”, a company with no connection to the South African government. The objective of the hires was to develop Chinese military air force capabilities, notably their ability to land on aircraft carriers, and to teach pilots how to best counter NATO capabilities. The UK government has since sought to pass legislation to prevent former UK military personnel from getting involved in such contracts with rivals and US authorities are seeking the extradition of a former Marine corps pilot over trainings he provided to Chinese military pilots at the “Academy”.

About This Incident

Incident Metadata

Date: 18 October 2022
Country: United Kingdom