Quickstep signs MLA on road to JSF deal

18/03/2010 - 10:32

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Quickstep Holdings has signed a manufacturing license agreement with Northrop Grumman, which the Coogee-based company said is the next step towards manufacturing $700 million worth of components for the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Quickstep Holdings has signed a manufacturing license agreement with Northrop Grumman, which the Coogee-based company said is the next step towards manufacturing $700 million worth of components for the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The MLA is in support of the memorandum of understanding signed with Lockheed Martin Corporation and its subcontractor, Northrop Grumman to design and manufacture the centre fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

Quickstep said the MLA provided Northrop Grumman with export approval from the U.S Department of State to begin transferring to Quickstep technical information necessary for the manufacture of the parts to be produced under the MOU.

Quickstep chief executive, Philippe Odouard said the MLA will establish an essential transfer of data between Quickstep and Northrop Grumman to enable Quickstep to complete the final preparations for the planned signing of the Long Term Agreement for F-35 manufacturing in the second quarter of 2010.

"This is a key step for Quickstep along the road to aerospace manufacturing," he said in a statement.

Under the terms of the MOU, Quickstep would supply 21 different F-35 components and the parts would then be exported to the United States for incorporation into F-35s globally.

The manufacturing program is planned to last between 20 and 30 years and generate annual turnover of up to $50 million by 2015.

Quickstep shares had gained two cents, or 5.8 per cent, to 36.5 cents per share at AEST1326.

 

Full announcement below:

QUICKSTEP TAKES NEXT STEP TOWARDS $700M JSF MANUFACTURING CONTRACT

MANUFACTURING LICENSE AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH NORTHROP GRUMMAN

- Quickstep signs Manufacturing License Agreement (MLA) with Northrop Grumman to support Memorandum of Understanding for potential F-35 manufacturing contracts.

- The MLA initiates and authorises the transfer of technical data from Northrop Grumman to allow Quickstep to conduct necessary planning and preparations prior to signing Long Term Agreement (LTA).

- Preparations for the start of manufacturing are proceeding on schedule as per the timetable agreed with Northrop Grumman.

Australian advanced materials company Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX:QHL) has taken another key step towards securing manufacturing contracts under the international Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, today announcing that it has signed a Manufacturing License Agreement (MLA) with global security company Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) in the design and manufacture of the centre fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

Quickstep signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in November 2009 to finalise a Long Term Agreement (LTA) for the manufacture of up to A$700 million worth of contracts for JSF.

The signing of this MLA provides Northrop Grumman with export approval from the U.S Department of State to begin transferring to Quickstep technical information necessary for the manufacture of the parts to be produced under the MOU.

Under the terms of the MOU, Quickstep would supply 21 different F-35 components. The parts would then be exported to the United States for incorporation into F-35s globally.

The manufacturing program is planned to last between 20 and 30 years and generate annual turnover of up to $50 million by 2015. Preparations for the start of manufacturing are progressing in line with the timetable agreed to with Northrop Grumman, with Quickstep proceeding well with the employment of new key staff members and the acquisition of necessary equipment to be able to commence production as planned in 2012. Preparation for parts and process qualification prior to production is also proceeding on schedule.

Commenting on the announcement, Quickstep Chief Executive Philippe Odouard said: "The signing of this Manufacturing License Agreement will establish an essential transfer of data between Quickstep and Northrop Grumman to enable Quickstep to complete the final preparations for the planned signing of the Long Term Agreement for F-35 manufacturing in the second quarter of 2010. This is a key step for Quickstep along the road to aerospace manufacturing."

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