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Business & Economy

‘Significant increase in jobs’ as Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering switch to Rafael

Two defence engineering firms are primed for “a significant increase in jobs” after being bought by an international operator, bosses have said.

Newcastle-based Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering have been taken on by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Officials say the deal “promises to create significant opportunities for the North East, with investment in the existing 285 strong workforce, new jobs and talent pipeline”.

The companies have switched from Armstrong Works-based Reece Group, and count a £25 million contract to make British Army Challenger 3 tank turrets in their order books.

Chiefs say the firms – which will continue operating under their existing brands and serve existing markets – will be bolstered by Rafael’s global footprint and links to its network of 8000-plus staff and 30 global subsidiaries.

Rafael has a strong presence in international defence markets and solid links within the UK, having recently been chosen by the Army to provide a system to defeat anti-tank missiles and rockets.

Craig Priday, Pearson Engineering managing director, said: “This acquisition will not only allow us to enhance our existing product portfolio, but will enable the development of innovative, class-leading products and capabilities.

“Rafael’s ambition for Pearson and Responsive brings valuable growth and stability, for our employees, our trusted supply partners in the region and the wider community in the North East.

“It will undoubtedly create more jobs and generate exciting career opportunities within both companies.”

Pearson Engineering has posted strong financial results in recent years, and more recently picked up a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, feats that, said Rafael president and chief executive Yoav Har Even, made it stand out.



He added: “Pearson and Responsive Engineering’s activity is supported by an outstanding legacy of excellence in innovation.

“By acquiring this company, we will be able to enhance and expand Pearson’s manufacturing capabilities in the UK, thus strengthening our UK supply chain to better support our customers.

“This will lead to a significant increase in the number of jobs in Newcastle, and will build strong links with academic institutions throughout the UK and specifically in the North East.”

John Reece, director of Reece Group, alongside sister and fellow director Anne Reece, added: “The Reece family has owned Pearson Engineering for 40 years.

“During this time, its counter-mine and counter-IED defence equipment has helped to save lives in conflict zones around the world including Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“With the acquisition of Responsive Engineering, the companies worked together to develop ground-breaking new products, increase sales and expand into defence manufacturing and other sectors.

“In order to take the companies to the next stage in their journey, they need a new partner, and we believe they have it in Rafael.”