Quickstep Holdings and its US partner Vector Composites have been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the US Air Force for materials used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Under the contract, the two companies will conduct research focusing on process qualification of bismaleimide (BMI) and epoxy resin composite materials using Quickstep’s patented out-of-autoclave curing process. The two materials constitute the majority of the advanced structural composites used in the F-35 and have an extensive design database. The contract, planned for 27 months, will develop extensive mechanical properties data for comparison to the baseline autoclave results, as well as fabricate and test representative components based on the JSF design.
Material handling, preparation and fabrication of all test articles and prototypes will be conducted at the Vector facility and will be subsequently cured at Quickstep’s US subsidiary, Quickstep Composites LLC, located in an adjacent facility in Dayton.
“Quickstep has already enjoyed some success in targeting traditional manufacturing contracts for JSF – as demonstrated by the recent Memorandums of Understanding signed with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Marand, and this significant teaming with Vector under the Air Force contract now indicates that we are also proceeding well with promoting our proprietary technology,” said CEO Philippe Odouard.