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  • Quickstep GmbH
  • Willy-Messerschmitt-Str. 1
  • 85521 Ottobrunn
  • https://www.quickstep.com.au
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  • Nicholas Read
  • +49 (89) 13010066-0

Sikorsky wins Australian naval helicopter contract

Fulfills Key Pre-Condition for Quickstep / Sikorsky Mou

(PresseBox) (Ottobrunn, ) Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX: QHL - "Quickstep" or "the Company") is now set to progress negotiations on its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with global helicopter company, Sikorsky International Operations Inc ("Sikorsky"), following the Australian Government's recent award of the Air 9000 Phase 8 naval helicopter contract to team Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky.

The award of the contract to Lockheed/Sikorsky was a key pre-condition for the MOU Quickstep signed with Sikorsky during the Avalon Airshow in March 2011, intended to lead to Quickstep becoming a participant in Sikorsky's Australian Industry Participation program.

Under the terms of the MOU, the two companies would 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 where the Quickstep Process demonstrates competitive advantage.

Under the Air 9000 Phase 8 contract, the Australian Government has approved the purchase of 24 MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' naval combat helicopters from Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky at a cost of over $3 billion.

In a joint statement, Australian Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, said the Government will work with Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprises to identify opportunities to form part of the 'Romeo' Global Supply Chain.

The Government has established a joint working group between Defence and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to progress Australian industry involvement in the project.

With the MOU pre-condition now met, Quickstep will progress discussions with Sikorsky regarding participation in Sikorsky's Global Supply Chain.

Managing Director of Quickstep, Mr Philippe Odouard, said the MOU with Sikorsky represented an important opportunity to secure large scale aerospace defence manufacturing contracts.

"I would like to congratulate Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin for their success in the pursuit of this Air 9000 Phase 8 program and wish them all the best for the delivery of the machines to the Royal Australian Navy," he said. "We look forward to continuing our negotiations in relation to entering Sikorsky's Global Supply Chain and will keep the market appraised of our progress."

Quickstep GmbH

Quickstep is an Australian-based company at the forefront of advanced materials manufacturing and technology transfer for the global aerospace and defence industries.

The use of advanced composites is rapidly growing with carbon material usage planned to increase at an average rate of 20% per annum for the next 10 years, underwritten by the emergence of high-use carbon fibre commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Light weighting of vehicles is the prime driver with commercial aircraft and military equipment leading the charge.

Quickstep has significant capabilities and expertise in the production of aerospace-grade composite components using both conventional autoclave-based manufacturing and leading edge out-of-autoclave production technologies, including its proprietary Quickstep Process. Quickstep is set to generate revenue using three distinct business models:

1. Technology transfer through the provision of the proprietary Quickstep Process and production equipment;
2. Manufacture of composite components, out of its Australian facility; and
3. Conducting paid or self-funded Research & Development on new composite structures.

Quickstep signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's) in 2009 in relation to manufacturing contracts for the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program - the largest military aerospace program in the world, currently valued at in excess of US$300 billion worldwide. The first was signed with global aerospace companies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, for around $700 million of potential contracts. The second MOU was signed with Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering for up to $50 million of contracts to manufacture Vertical Tail skins for the JSF.

Quickstep signed a Long Term Agreement with Northrop Grumman in relation to the first parts we have been allocated under the JSF program in February 2011, with a start date for JSF part delivery set for early 2012. Further contracts for additional parts are expected progressively during 2012.

The Company has a fully-commissioned aerospace-grade manufacturing facility located in North Coogee, Western Australia, and recently announced plans to relocate its manufacturing operations to the former Boeing facility at Bankstown, New South Wales, which offers the scale, resources and utilities necessary to undertake large-scale, long term aerospace manufacturing contracts.

In addition to its Australian operations, Quickstep also has facilities in strategic global locations including North America, Europe and the UK.

The Company is currently partnering with some of the world's largest aerospace/defence companies, including the US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Bae Systems, Boeing, Airbus and EADS.

Quickstep is also developing a unique patented process that can deliver high surface finish, low cost fast processing of carbon fibre composite particularly adapted to the automotive industry.

For further information, visit: www.quickstep.com.au