Quickstep and Sikorsky sign MoU on defence contracts

Quickstep and Sikorsky sign MoU on defence contracts

3-Mar-2011 Source: Quickstep

Australian advanced materials company Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX:QHL  – “Quickstep”) has secured a further opportunity for aerospace/defence manufacturing work in Australia, today announcing it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with global helicopter company, Sikorsky International Operations Inc (“Sikorsky”), aimed at enabling Quickstep to become a recognised supplier to Sikorsky’s global supply chain.

The MOU is contingent on Sikorsky securing a contract for the purchase of its MH-60R helicopters under the Australian Department of Defence’s Air 9000 Phase 8 program.  Sikorsky is one of two helicopter suppliers that have tendered for the program, which is the Australian Department of Defence’s acquisition program for a new navy tactical helicopter fleet. The contract is expected to be awarded in the Third Quarter of 2011.

If Sikorsky is successful in winning this contract, the MOU is intended to lead to Quickstep becoming a participant in Sikorsky’s Australian Industry Participation Program.

Under the terms of the MOU, the two companies will work together firstly to enable Quickstep to become a recognised supplier to Sikorsky’s global supply chain, and secondly to conduct joint development work aimed at preparing Quickstep’s patented manufacturing technology – the Quickstep Process – for use in Sikorsky supply chain work as the Quickstep Process demonstrates competitive advantage.

The MOU is in keeping with Quickstep’s two pronged strategy to secure manufacturing business – firstly through the promotion of the patented Quickstep Process as a viable new technology for the manufacture of high performance composites, and secondly by facilitating composite contracts that can be completed at the Company’s Australian manufacturing facility using the Quickstep Process or traditional composites manufacturing techniques such as autoclave.

It is expected that Sikorsky would assist Quickstep to prepare to enter the Sikorsky supply chain to gain  contracts for manufacture in Australia.

Managing Director of Quickstep, Mr Philippe Odouard, said the agreement represented another opportunity for Quickstep to secure additional large-scale aerospace manufacturing contracts.

Sikorsky Supply Chain represents a further step for Quickstep to build its contract based business on the back of last month’s announcement of a Long Term Agreement with Northrop Grumman for the supply of parts under the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program,” Mr Odouard said.

“We are also pleased by Sikorsky’s specific interest in our patented Quickstep Process, which has demonstrated key material and cost benefits for the manufacture of high performance composite materials,” he continued.

Initial focus for opportunities for Quickstep to participate in Sikorsky’s global supply chain will be on composite materials including, but not limited to, components for Sikorsky’s H60, S70 and CH53K helicopters.

Sikorsky’s Vice President  – Supply Chain, Mr Al Altieri, said Sikorsky had a strong interest in the Quickstep Process following positive development programs undertaken with Quickstep’s US subsidiary, Quickstep Composites LLC.

“We believe the Quickstep Process may offer exciting benefits for the manufacture of composite materials and, subject to the award of the Air 9000 Phase 8 program, look forward to Quickstep’s involvement in our Australian Industry Participation Program,” he said.

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