LONDON - A former Rolls-Royce employee has been arrested in the UK under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly plotting to hand top-secret military information relating to the F-35B stealth fighter jet to China .
The individual — named by The Sun link newspaper as Ex-Chief Combustion Technologist Bryn Jones, 73 — was arrested after MI5 received intelligence indicating classified defense intelligence may have been passed to Beijing.
He is accused of breaching Section One of the Official Secrets Act link, relating to national security, which carries a maximum 14 year prison sentence.
Jones, whose LinkedIn profile link indicates he's a "visiting professor" in "gas turbine combustion" at the Aeronautical University of Xian, central China , was released on bail mere hours after officers from Scotland Yard's SO15 counter-terrorism command raided his home June 12.
Jones worked for Rolls-Royce's combustion engineering section from 1968 — 2003. In 1996 he became Chief of Combustion Technology Acquisition, where his role involved "assessing military and civil product needs" — in 2000, he landed the post of Chief Combustion Technologist, which he retained until he left the compan [image: F-35]
He subsequently formed independent combustion consultancy Kausis — but there are suggestions he maintained a relationship of some kind with his former employer. His positions would've potentially granted him extremely sensitive — and valuable — information on the company's work in the military sector.
As a result, detectives are probing whether details of several Rolls-Royce defense contracts were put at risk — including systems which power the Royal Navy's Trafalgar and Vanguard submarine fleet.
Of chief concern, however, is the potential for the F-35B to have been compromised. While Lockheed Martin designed and built the plane, Rolls-Royce was one of several companies contracted to produce parts of the jet — it was responsible for the ‘lift system' allowing the plane to hover and land vertically on aircraft carriers.
The F-35B has a top speed of 1.6 Mach (1,200 miles per hour), carries air-to-air missiles and lazer-guided bombs which can be deployed within a 1,300-mile range, and can deflect enemy radar to fly almost unnoticed.