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."
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