Quickstep Holdings says it achieved an 85 per cent increase in delivered parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project in the three months to December 31 2016, with production expected to further ramp up in the period ahead.
The Australian manufacturer said it delivered 263 parts for the F-35 program in the second quarter of 2016/17, compared with 142 parts in the prior corresponding period.
Quickstep has agreements with several original equipment manufacturers to supply F-35 parts for the next two decades 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.
It also has a long-term agreement with Marand for the supply of about 700 sets of carbon fibre composite parts for the F-35, including skins, spars and fairings, which was signed in April 2014.
“In Q2 FY17 Quickstep delivered 263 parts compared to 142 parts in Q2 FY16, an increase of 85 per cent,” Quickstep said in its quarterly sales report released on Monday.
For the first half of 2016/17, Quickstep said it had an average production rate of 87 parts per month, compared with an average of 49 parts per month in the prior corresponding period.
The company has a $10 million program of capital investment at its Bankstown facility to enable higher levels of JSF production, as well as further automation for its C‐130J Super Hercules contract.
“The JSF capital investment program is expected to be completed in the next quarter,” Quickstep said.
“Capital expenditure at Bankstown has enabled higher levels of production for JSF to meet the expected significant increase over the next three years.”
The company is the sole global supplier of wing flaps for the C‐130J Super Hercules after signing a five-year memorandum of agreement in December 2013. Current C-130J orders extended through to 2019.
It delivered seven ship-sets for the C-130J program in the three months to Decemeber 31, which the company said was in line with long-term production rates.
Further, Quickstep noted Lockheed Martin had recently received a further order from the US Government, which would extend the C-130J production to 2024.
“Quickstep is in a strong position to benefit from this,” the company said.
Quickstep reported sales of $11.3 million for the second quarter, which it said was in line with expectations.
“Sales for the second half of FY17 are expected to be higher than the first half, and FY17 sales are forecast to be $54 million in line with previous guidance,” Quickstep said.
The firm order book stood at $115 million at the end of December 2016.