AE Industrial Partners LP, a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power generation, and specialty industrial markets, has expanded its Unmanned and Autonomous platform through the acquisition of Jennings Aeronautics Inc., a provider of innovative Small Unmanned Aerial Systems. JAI will be combined with UAV Factory, a provider of tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance technology, which was acquired by AEI in January.

As part of the transaction, JAI CEO John Purvis will assume the role of CEO of the combined company, while JAI founder Gordon Jennings will remain with the combined company in a senior leadership role.

JAI’s team of engineers and technicians have expertise in the production of SUAS that merge the payload capacity and endurance of larger systems with the flexibility of a more portable vehicle.

“It is rare in this rapidly developing industry to find a company with the deep technical experience and reputation for quality that JAI possesses,” said Kirk Konert, partner at AEI. “Their heritage will be a critical advantage as we grow the combined company. We look forward to continued innovation and new product development, while identifying new opportunities to grow.”

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor and William Blair and PricewaterhouseCoopers served as financial advisors to AEI and UAV Factory. Orrick was legal advisor to JAI.