Quickstep specialises in the production of aerospace-grade composite components using both conventional autoclave-based manufacturing and out-of-autoclave production technologies, including its proprietary Quickstep Process.

Quickstep signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in November 2009 to finalise a Long Term Agreement (LTA) for the manufacture of up to A$700 million worth of contracts for JSF. The signing of this MLA provides Northrop Grumman with export approval from the US Department of State to begin transferring to Quickstep technical information necessary for the manufacture of the parts to be produced under the MOU.

Under the terms of the MOU, Quickstep would supply 21 different F-35 components. The parts would then be exported to the USA for incorporation into F-35s globally. The manufacturing programme is planned to last 20-30 years and generate annual turnover of up to $50 million by 2015.

According to Quickstep, preparations for the start of manufacturing are progressing in line with the timetable agreed to with Northrop Grumman. Quickstep is proceeding with the employment of new staff and the acquisition of necessary equipment to be able to commence production as planned in 2012. Preparation for parts and process qualification prior to production is also proceeding on schedule.

“The signing of this Manufacturing License Agreement will establish an essential transfer of data between Quickstep and Northrop Grumman to enable Quickstep to complete the final preparations for the planned signing of the Long Term Agreement for F-35 manufacturing in the second quarter of 2010,” says Quickstep Chief Executive Philippe Odouard. “This is a key step for Quickstep along the road to aerospace manufacturing.”