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Quickstep expects to begin deliveries of F-35 vertical tails skins and spars by end of 2015/16

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 2, 2016

A supplied image of the first F-35 assembled with Marand's vertical tails. (Lockheed Martin)
The first F-35 assembled with Marand’s vertical tails. (Lockheed Martin)

Quickstep Holdings says it expects to commence deliveries of vertical tails skins and spars for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project before the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

The Bankstown Airport-based manufacturer says it is currently working on the qualification process for those components.

“Qualification of vertical tail skins and spars continues and, subject to client approval, initial deliveries are expected to commence in Q4 FY16,” Quickstep said in its second quarter financial results.

Quickstep has agreements with several original equipment manufacturers to supply F-35 parts for the next 20 years valued at about US$700 million. This included being the sole supplier for Northrop Grumman for 21 F-35 parts, including doors, panels, lower skins and other composite parts.

In the three months to December 31 2015, Quickstep completed 132 parts, compared with 155 parts in the first quarter of 2015/16.

“Production is expected to increase three-fold over the next three years,” Quickstep said.

“The company continues to progress discussions with current customers and targeted aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) regarding new contracts and mandates.”

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Quickstep also has a long-term agreement with Marand for the supply of about 700 sets of carbon fibre composite parts for the F-35 vertical tails, which was signed in April 2014.

“Qualification of vertical tail fairings components was completed in Q1, enabling commencement of production, and the first vertical tail fairings were delivered in December 2015,” Quickstep said.

“Four vertical tail fairings were delivered in Q2. The fairings are one of three fundamental components, which will be manufactured by Quickstep for JSF vertical tails.”

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Quickstep said it had sales of $11.6 million in the three months to March 31, with total sales for the full 2015/16 year expected to rise about 20 per cent to $48 million, compared with the prior corresponding period.

The company’s order book was valued at about $120 million at December 31, covering committed orders for the C-130J and F-35 programs. Manufacturing for both these orders would extend to the 2018/19 financial year.

“Production of parts for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and C‐130J Hercules continues to increase,” it said.

Comments (6)

  • leroy

    says:

    This is one of the reasons Australia is participating in the F-35 program – jobs at home and the transfer of advanced manufacturing know-how and technology. Who knows what future products or business opportunities might spring from being a JSF Program Partner? So not only is the RAAF getting the #1 5th gen fighter produced anywhere in the world, but Australia is also developing a strong national economy and technology-base for future economic expansion. Sounds like a win-win all the way around!

    Good to see a high-tech Australian manufacturer like Quickstep onboard as a JSF Program Partner. Best of luck to them and the RAAF. America counts on a strong economic and military relationship with Australia as the U.S. military pivots towards Asia. Together we will maintain peace and prosperity in this vital part of the world. Being proactive today means we will not have to be reactive tomorrow. Recall the words of Ronald Reagan – words concerning Peace and Strength.. A wise admonition mirrored by many Australian military and political leaders throughout history. No truer words have ever been spoken!

  • Raymond

    says:

    Great comment Leroy.

  • Adrian P

    says:

    120 million would not buy you an A380, 777 or one F35
    In the scheme of things its peanuts.
    Very expensive aircraft to destroy Toyota Hiluxs..
    Better to invest in domestic infrastructure.
    As for peace, invading Iraq turned out really well, didn’t it?

  • PAUL

    says:

    Agree with Leroy Australia has a population of 25million. look at Sweden with a population of only around 10million having designed & developed all the Saab aircraft and now JAS39 Gripen.

  • Jason

    says:

    Sweden is non-aligned/neutral, and therefore had to become industrially self-sufficient. Different story here.

  • Raymond

    says:

    A pity Australia couldn’t also become a little more industrially self-sufficient… generally speaking, not just in a military sense. What a nation like Sweden can achieve is impressive, and still with a high wage workforce and high standard of living.

    Sweden is now flirting with possible NATO membership, in the face of a resurgent and belligerent Russia. Opinion polls put Swedes as being more and more in favour of joining NATO.

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