A former Rolls-Royce engineer has returned home following his arrest over a suspected Chinese plot to steal the secrets of the new £100million RAF stealth fighter jet.
Ex-Chief Combustion Technologist Bryn Jones was held after MI5 was informed classified defence information may have been passed to Beijing.
Counter-terror police swooped in on the 73-year-old’s Derbyshire home in an ‘ultra-discreet’ operation on Tuesday.
It is understood the police investigation centres on fears over Rolls-Royce’s top-secret work on the state-of-the-art F-35B.
He was questioned by Scotland Yard detectives at a nearby police station and has since been released and returned home, where he declined to comment on the case today.
Former Rolls-Royce employee Bryn Jones was arrested amid fears that classified information about Britain’s new multimillion-pound F-35 stealth fighter jets may have been passed to China. Police have raided the house he shares with his wife, Dorothy (right)
It is understood the Met probe centres on fears over Rolls-Royce’s top-secret work on the state-of-the-art F-35B (pictured)
Scotland Yard detectives descended on his home and a nearby business premises on Tuesday.
Neighbour John O’Melia said: ‘There was a marked police van and some specialist plain-clothed officers at the address.
Mr O’Melia said of Jones: ‘He was a nice chap. He mainly spoke of Japanese customers rather than Chinese – but that must have been 10 years ago.’
Mr Jones was questioned and held on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act, according to The Sun. Crimes relating to national security can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years.
Ex-Chief Combustion Technologist Mr Jones was held after MI5 was informed classified defence information may have been passed to Beijing
Mr Jones, a married father-of-five, describes himself as a ‘visiting professor’ in ‘gas turbine combustion’ at the Aeronautical University of Xian, central China.
Offices at a West Midlands firm linked to Mr Jones were also searched by forensics and police remained their today.
It is understood that Jones denies any wrongdoing.
The F-35B jet only arrived in the UK last week and Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier described it as ‘the most advanced and dynamic fight jet’ in British history.
With a top speed of 1.6 Mach (1,200mph) and a 300-mile range, the aircraft can deflect enemy radar almost unnoticed.
Built in the US by defence giants Lockheed Martin, its weapons include air-to-air missiles and laser-guided bombs.
The UK government has already committed to spend £9.1billion on 48 of the aircraft by 2025.
But now there are grave concerns the aircraft’s secrets are already in the hands of foreign powers.
Jones declined to comment on the case after returning to his home in Derbyshire today
Mr Jones tells on his LinkedIn page how he