Former Rolls-Royce engineer arrested over fears of Chinese fighter jet plot

A former Rolls-Royce engineer has been arrested at his home in Derbyshire regarding claims over a suspected Chinese plot to steal the secrets of the new £100m RAF stealth fighter jet, according to reports.

The Sun says that former chief combustion technologies Bryn Jones was held after a tip-off from MI5 to the Metropolitan Police that top secret defence information was being leaked to China.

According to the newspaper, counter-terror police arrested Jones as his Derbyshire home on Tuesday. He was questioned and detained on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The Sun says the police investigation centres around Rolls-Royce’s highly-classified work on the F-35B fighter jet. The company is said to be behind“lift system” that allows it hover and land ­vertically on aircraft carriers. It has been hailed as “the most advanced and dynamic fight jet” in ­British history by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier.

Jones is described as a visiting professor on gas turbine combustion as the Aeronautical University of Xian. He worked for Rolls-Royce in Derby for over 30 years, latterly as chief combustion technologist.

Bryn Jones

He left in 2003, but The Sun says he has kept links with the Derby manufacturing giant. Offices of a West Midlands firm linked to Jones have also been searched by forensics experts.

A Met Police spokesman said: “At approximately 14.20hrs on Tuesday, 12 June 2018, officers from the Metropolitan Police Service arrested a man in Derbyshire as part of an investigation under the Official Secrets Act.

“The man, who is in his 70s and worked within private industry, was taken to a police station in Derbyshire.

“He was released under investigation later that evening.

“Police officers executed a search warrant at an address in the West Midlands, which is now complete.

“A search at an address in Derbyshire is ongoing.”