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In context: Recent shenanigans on the War Thunder forums have made them look like the number-one place to discover military vehicle secrets. The situation, which has been ongoing for several years now, recently led to claims that major defense contractors like Raytheon were asking new hires and referrers if they played the free game, but the company has confirmed the reports aren't true.
Posting classified documents about military vehicles on the War Thunder forums is becoming an almost common occurrence. Schematics for the Challenger 2 tank extracted from its Army Equipment Support Publication (AESP) were posted in 2021. There were also leaked documents for the French Leclerc Main Battle Tank and its variants, as well as classified material on Chinese tanks.
The War Thunder message boards saw two incidents of restricted military intel posted last week, for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E US strike fighter, despite the developer's repeated pleas for players not to post such content, lest the creators "end up chained at the bottom of a disguised CIA cargo ship in international waters."
"Tell me, what's your favorite free-to-play vehicular combat multiplayer game?"
The scale of the problem led to a story on War Thunder's subreddit about defense contract giant Raytheon checking if job applicants played the game. The poster claimed to have been contacted by the company as part of a standard background check after their friend applied for a job at Raytheon. One of the questions was whether the applicant played War Thunder.
But like so many stories on the internet, this one is BS. PCGamesN contracted Raytheon to confirm its authenticity and was told "Though it's a great story, it's not true," a spokesperson said. "We only look at a person's education, employment and criminal history when hiring. We've never looked into a person's videogame habits and I can't imagine a case in which we'd have a concern with any game."
The person who posted the original story has admitted to the lie. "I lied on the internet as everyone else does. Firstly, I made the story up because my friend was telling me about his friend who works at Lockheed for a work study," they said. "The discussion of War Thunder was brought up by a co-worker and that was that. I do have a friend who works at Raytheon, to which I heard they have a P.I. talk to friends and such, so I just took both stories and ran with it. Want to apologise to the one person who asked me if he was at risk playing War Thunder. Sorry for the anxiety that must have brought you."
So, it seems that playing War Thunder won't stop you from gaining employment at a defense contractor. However, sharing military documents still isn't advisable, as even those that have been declassified fall under the jurisdiction of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which limits the disclosure of US weapons data. You're unlikely to be hired while serving a ten-year prison sentence.
Center image: Amtec Photos