Sydney-based carbon fibre composites manufacturer Quickstep has announced the production of its 10,000th component for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, marking a major milestone for the company and Australia’s defence industry involvement in the multibillion-dollar program.
Quickstep manufactures more than 50 individual components and assemblies for Northrop Grumman, Marand Precision Engineering and BAE Systems, and each F-35 Lightning II aircraft currently in production incorporates approximately $440,000 of content built at its facility at Bankstown Aerodrome in western Sydney.
This provides direct employment for almost 170 highly skilled operations staff, engineers and support personnel across the business and many more within its domestic supply chain.
Current F-35 contracts achieved full-rate production over the last 12 months and 10,000 parts represents approximately $250 million of revenue over the last seven years. Based on forecast aircraft production volumes, and at current rates of supply, Quickstep is just 20 per cent of the way through this important build program.
Commenting on this milestone Quickstep CEO Mark Burgess said:
“We are extremely proud of the trust and confidence placed in us by leading global aerospace OEM, the US DoD and the Australian DoD. We have built a reputation for excellent delivery, quality and cost performance and look forward to securing more production opportunities on F-35 and other advanced aerospace platforms.”
Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds CSC said the success of Quickstep is reflective of Australia’s participation in the global F-35 Program demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to backing Australian industry and supporting Australian jobs.
Minister Reynolds said:
“The F-35’s are the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world which will deliver next generation capability benefits for our Air Force. Australian companies have already shared in $2.7 billion in contracts for this Program. This is a testament to this Government’s commitment to maximising opportunities for Australian industry”