Founded in the early 1940s, Rafaut is a French civil and defence aviation engineering group. In the civil engineering sector, Rafaut is a tier-one subcontractor for Airbus. In the defence sector, the company has extensive expertise in stations under fighter aircraft. Its projects have included the design, development and manufacture of stations under the Rafale fighter aircraft for the French Ministry of Defence and Dassault Aviation.
In early 2019, Rafaut doubled in size when it acquired AEds, a company specialized in the design, manufacture and assembly of mechanical sub-assemblies for the aviation industry (civil and defence). Following this acquisition, the group achieved turnover in the region of 100 M€ and employs around 340 members of staff across 8 sites in France and at a subsidiary in Portugal. A digital factory is also under construction in Valenciennes.
The goal of HLD Europe and its co-shareholders is to support the group in a new phase of its development by helping it to become the European benchmark for mission and hardpoint systems, expand its area of expertise and diversify the range of programmes in which it is positioned, and continue to make targeted acquisitions in both the civil and defence aviation sectors.