Many highly trained Eurofighter pilots train J-20 pilots in Asia

A group of well-trained Eurofighter Typhoon pilots are currently in China. They are German citizens, former Luftwaffe [German Air Force] pilots, privy to NATO secrets, as ZDF writes. According to an investigation in the German media, two of these pilots are Eurofighter instructors Peter S. and Alexander H., and Tornado pilot Dirk J.

Many highly trained Eurofighter pilots train J-20 pilots in Asia
Photo by David Donald

The three names quoted above are in contact and business relationship with the Chinese spy Su Bin. In 2016, he was convicted of espionage in the United States, and a little later he was extradited back to China. The three German pilots have an agreement with the Chinese company Lode Technology Ltd. as “Aviation Consultant Contractors”. Su Bin is the main shareholder in Lode.

An investigation of the documentary traces left by one of the three Germans, Alexander H, may indicate the exact whereabouts of the three pilots [or at least he] in China. Alexander H has moved from Rostock to Quiqihar. This city is located in Northeast China and is a large Chinese city by local standards.

Chinese J-11 flies 10ft from USAF jet, then cuts in front of it
Photo credit: Wikipedia recalls that in this area, in the immediate vicinity of Quiqihar, there is an air base of the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. This base houses a fighter squadron of J-20s, the fifth-generation stealth fighter of China’s combat aviation. The base has Shenyang J-11 fighter jets also known as Flanker-L.

Thrust vectoring engine: J-20 performs strong maneuvers at low speed
Photo credit:

This is not the first record of non-Chinese pilots being hired by Chinese companies to “consult” [train] Chinese pilots, revealing secrets of Western air tactics. Last year, as well as this year, there were reports of British pilots being hired, also ex-Eurofighter pilots. Reports of Australian pilots being recruited by China arrived last year in late October. According to Reuters, at least 30 British and Australian pilots are in China.

The revelation that German pilots are training their Chinese counterparts is worrying, especially in light of the latest aerial exercise conducted by the Chinese Air Force. It was held in April this year and the main exercise involved was the takeover of Taiwan by air.

Thrust vectoring engine: J-20 performs strong maneuvers at low speed
Photo credit: ADN

In Germany, there is a law that engages the military, and especially German pilots, on what to do after they finish their military career, which often ends at 41 years old. This law obliges former German pilots to report on their private activities. The German media did not comment on whether the three famous German pilots did it.

All three have been wanted repeatedly by the German media. Only one of them wished to speak, but very briefly and succinctly. This is Peter S. However, he does not speak directly to Spiegel but uses a PR consultant. Through his PR consultant, Peter S. has told the German media that he has not revealed any military secrets to the Chinese. He also says the training in China is “unclassified procedures” and pays taxes in China.

TAURUS - the German equal of Storm Shadow long-range missile
Photo credit: MBDA

The revelation about the three German pilots shows Berlin that Beijing is willing to pay for “external consultants”. “If the Chinese state is spending money in just such a situation to recruit foreign specialists who are also carriers of secrets, including NATO information, you should be extremely worried,” says Greens MP Constantin von Notz.

When asked, the Federal Ministry of Defense would not comment on specific cases but confirmed that China is trying to hire former NATO pilots as trainers through external agencies. This also affects “former pilots of the German Bundeswehr”. One sees “the great danger of teaching not only basic flying skills but that the relevant tactics, techniques, and procedures become obvious”.

According to the investigation, the three German citizens opened their own consulting firm. It is registered in the Seychelles to avoid taxation. The company was founded after the three men had already left the German Air Force. Their company was featured in the Panama Papers, which were leaked online and to the public some time ago.


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