Pearson Engineering's Full Width Mine Plough attaches to the front of a combat engineering vehicle. (Pearson Engineering)
Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has expanded its land warfare offering by acquiring British ground vehicle equipment provider Pearson Engineering, the buyer announced on 28 September.
Rafael paid about GBP100 million (USD107 million) to obtain Pearson and its subsidiary Responsive Engineering from UK-based Reece Group. Pearson, including Responsive, employs about 285 people and will become a subsidiary of Rafael.
Pearson managing director Craig Priday said that becoming part of a larger company like Rafael ‘‘will not only allow us to enhance our existing product portfolio, but will enable the development of innovative, class-leading products, and capabilities''.
Pearson's products include the minefield-clearing Full Width Mine Plough, which attaches to the front of a combat engineering vehicle. Following the acquisition, Pearson, which is located in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England, will add to its repertoire by starting to locally manufacture Rafael's Trophy active protection system for armoured vehicles.
Parting shot: PAF inducts JF-17 Block III aircraft
01 December 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
The Block III version of the Pakistan-China-developed JF-17 fighter aircraft includes several improvements over earlier aircraft, according to the Pakistan Air Force. (Janes)
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has started to induct into service the latest version of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)/Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) JF-17 ‘Thunder' fighter aircraft.
The PAF said in mid-November that the new Block III aircraft provides the PAF with several improved capabilities over the earlier Block II version. These include, it said, “superior manoeuvrability, extended range, and enhanced combat capabilities”.
Other enhancements include a reduction in the aircraft's radar cross-section, a result of greater use of composites, and improved avionics. State-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said in September the aircraft has also been equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
This radar system appears to be the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) KLJ-7A X-band airborne 3D fire-control radar (FCR). The Block II version is equipped with the KLJ-7 V2.
According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the KLJ-7 V2 radar can detect an aircraft with a radar cross-section of 3 m
Lockheed Martin flies first production F-35s equipped with TR-3 upgrade
30 November 2023
by Zach Rosenberg
US Air Force F-35A Lightning II. F-35 deliveries with TR-3 upgrades are scheduled to begin as soon as April 2024. (US Air Force/Staff Sgt Zade Vadnais)
Lockheed Martin has flown the first production F-35s equipped with Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware and software upgrades, the manufacturer confirmed on 28 November. F-35 deliveries to customers have been paused until TR-3 is judged to be sufficiently mature.
“We are now flying TR-3 software on F-35 production jets in Fort Worth and flight test continues at Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Patuxent River,” the company told
on 28 November.
The TR-3 software upgrade first flew in January 2023 aboard a US Air Force test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base. The US Department of Defense's F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) declined to specify the number of F-35s flying with TR-3 today, citing operational security.
“The JPO and Lockheed Martin agree that the acceptance of TR-3 aircraft should fall in the April 2024 to June 2024 timeframe based on risks as we understand them today,” the JPO told
on 28 November.
Israeli MoD Director General Eyal Zamir signed the final contract for the AWS sale to Germany on 23 November. (IAI)
The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on X (formerly Twitter) on 23 November that its Director General, Eyal Zamir, signed the final contract for the USD3.6 billion sale of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) to Germany earlier the same day. In addition to the AWS and Arrow 3 missiles, the contract includes an initial package of spare parts and training of Luftwaffe crews.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, signed a joint declaration of intent in Berlin on 28 September on Germany's AWS procurement for the Luftwaffe. This was followed by approval by the budget committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, of the procurement of AWS and Arrow 3 missiles, announced by the German MoD on 19 October.
The procurement will be funded by the EUR100 billion (USD109 billion) Zeitenwende special fund approved by Germany after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.