Private equity firm AE Industrial Partners (AEI) has strengthened its portfolio with the acquisition of tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) maker UAV Factory.

Based in Riga, Latvia, UAV Factory designs and produces airframes, engines, stabilised EO/IR Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads, and other components in-house for both the manned and unmanned aircraft industries.

It has customers in more than 55 countries and delivers more than 300 aircraft to defence, intelligence and commercial clients.

The two companies did not disclose specific terms of the transaction.

AEI principal Jeffrey Hart said: “UAV Factory’s engineering and technical capabilities, combined with its proven and growing set of technology solutions, are truly differentiated in the market.

“We are excited to partner with the talented UAV Factory team and are confident that our collective strategic vision for an unmanned technology platform will yield powerful results in this fast-growing market.”

The acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to further invest in fast-growing markets.

Following the acquisition, UAV Factory will operate as a new standalone unmanned technology platform for AEI.

UAV Factory co-founder Konstantin Popiks will continue to serve the company in a senior leadership role.

Konstantin Popiks said: “By working closely with the AEI team, we plan to expand our technologies to provide our customers with the best-in-class, end-to-end solutions they need to make critical decisions.”

Earlier this month, AE Industrial Partners, through its subsidiary Redwire, acquired spacecraft and satellite design and development, mission payload development, and data distribution services provider Oakman Aerospace (OAI).