Australia-based Quickstep Holdings Ltd. has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DCNS Group, a French naval shipbuilding company. The MoU is for the companies’ joint cooperation in the manufacturing of components and assemblies using advanced composite materials.
DCNS is the largest shipbuilder in France, and was recently selected by the Australian Government as its preferred international partner for the design of 12 submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
“The application of Quickstep’s carbon fiber composites expertise for the marine defense industry is a natural extension of our technology,” said David Marino, CEO and Managing Director of Quickstep. “We are delighted to commence this partnership with DCNS which is an acknowledged world leader in naval defence systems. The MoU provides opportunities for Quickstep to participate in DCNS’s supply chain and for the potential use of our technology in submarine platforms in Australia and overseas.”
“DCNS has commenced building a supply chain in Australia that will support the submarine capability on a sustainable basis,” said Sean Costello, Managing Director of DCNS. “Ultimately this supply chain will comprise several hundred companies across Australia and form the Future Submarine Enterprise.”
The use of composite materials is increasing in surface ships and submarines, reflecting reduced material costs and shipbuilders’ focus on weight reduction. Quickstep says that its technologies for the aerospace, defense and automotive sectors are also suitable for naval defense. Its potential participation in the new SEA 100 submarine program complements its involvement in the JSF F-35 Program, the world’s largest defense aerospace program. These are both long-term programs which will allow new technologies to be developed.
A Quickstep / DCNS committee will consider the parts and projects most relevant to implementation of Quickstep’s technology and during the next twelve months Quickstep expects to develop and manufacture a number of demonstration parts. Testing of Quickstep’s process technologies for naval applications may lead to production of components for DCNS’ submarine program for Australia and export markets.