The Chinese Army Faces a Shortage of Pilots

22/09/2023 - 14:20
Source: South China Morning Post
Source: South China Morning Post

The People's Liberation Army of China is actively seeking graduates in the fields of science and technology who can potentially become aircraft pilots on aircraft carriers, as reported by citing Reuters.

As part of China's modernisation and expansion of its Armed Forces, the country is not only improving its military ships and aviation but also aiming to enhance the qualifications of its new recruits.

In an announcement published on social media platforms, the People's Liberation Army of China stated that it is seeking graduates in the field of science and technology, aged up to 26, who aspire to become fighter jet pilots taking off from aircraft carriers.

"The demand for high-quality military talents becomes increasingly essential with each passing day. The pace of strategic changes in the naval fleet is growing," explained the announcement.

According to the announcement, candidates must "love the Party, the Motherland, the people, and socialism." Both candidates and their close relatives must have a "clean political history." The announcement also lists various health, height, weight, and character criteria.

The educational program involves four years of studying aviation theory and practical training in the air. Candidates who successfully complete their training can expect to receive free medical services for themselves and their immediate family members, along with housing provided by the government.

It is worth noting that in September, the United Kingdom made amendments to its national security law. According to this law, former UK military personnel who provide training to foreigners can be penalized for disclosing classified information. Several countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have implemented similar laws.

This development arose from the revelation in October 2022 that a number of former pilots from the UK's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy had been providing training in the People's Liberation Army of China's Air Force. These pilots had signed contracts through a South African company, with an average salary of around £250,000. It was reported that approximately 30 of them had relocated to China for training.

Additionally, a former US fighter pilot is facing charges related to claims that he provided instruction to Chinese pilots on aircraft carrier landings.

The expansion of personnel is driven by China's completion and preparation for the maiden sea trials of the domestically developed aircraft carrier "Fujian." Unlike the first two Chinese aircraft carriers, which were based on the Russian aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov," "Fujian" is entirely a Chinese design. According to the South China Morning Post, "Fujian" is expected to enter service in the fleet in 2025.



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