Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) reported on March 26 that it has completed the first production parts for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program under the purchase order secured by Quickstep in July 2011. The parts have been presented for acceptance to Northrop Grumman weeks ahead of the schedule agreed with Northrop Grumman in 2009.
The parts, assembled access panels for the F-35 aircraft, represent the first “flying” Group 1 parts manufactured by Quickstep for the JSF program. Quickstep initially expects to manufacture approximately one completed part per week and will gradually ramp up in quantity.
Quickstep’s managing director, Philippe Odouard, said the commencement of commercial JSF production was a significant event for the company and demonstrates that Quickstep has successfully completed the very challenging development, contract negotiation and industrialisation phase and has moved into the production and revenue phase.
“This represents the start of Quickstep’s first major production contract for the international defence industry – a core part of the company’s growth strategy,” says Odouard.
“With serial production now underway, we will be making regular shipments of Group 1 JSF parts to Northrop Grumman and receiving regular cash flow, with the intention of ramping up production over the next 12 months.”
Quickstep recently received its second purchase order for Group 1 parts covering manufacturing and delivery throughout 2013. While details of purchase orders will remain confidential, Quickstep says the 2013 purchase order represents a threefold increase in JSF part deliveries compared to 2012 quantities and Quickstep’s production ramp-up will be completed to meet this timetable.
Quickstep expects to secure long-term agreements to manufacture Group 2 and Group 3 JSF parts during 2012, which would increase the number and types of JSF parts the company, will manufacture.