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JSF Program head visits Quickstep

News International-French

13 Mar 2014

The F-35 Program Executive Officer U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan met today with employees and management of Quickstep Holdings Limited at their manufacturing facility in Bankstown Airport where high-grade carbon-fibre components are produced for the F-35 fighter.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

Quickstep is supplying carbon fibre composite skins and subassemblies for the program, and will manufacture 21 different F-35 parts at its Bankstown Airport facility. The overall agreement to manufacture F-35 parts for several different Original Equipment Manufacturers is valued at up to $700 million to the company over two decades. Separately, the Australian government through the Department of Defence's New Air Combat Capability Industry Support Program recently awarded Quickstep a $1 million grant, supporting qualification of the Quickstep Process for manufacturing F-35 vertical tail spars which provide stabilisation for aircraft in flight.

"I was impressed with Quickstep's manufacturing processes and technology, they appear to be world class," said Lt. Gen. Bodgan. "The technologies I saw have great potential to improve aerodynamic performance and help to keep manufacturing costs down. Quickstep's contributions to the F-35 program are highly valued today and will be for years to come."

The visit was hosted by Quickstep chairman, Tony Quick, who said that The F-35 is Quickstep's flagship project. Since commencement of the program they have now delivered more than 200 parts, and production is ramping up substantially.

The Quickstep Process involves using heated liquids to cure carbon fibre and resin composites more effectively. It transfers heat 25 times faster than traditional autoclaves, enabling a significant reduction in costs.

More than 3,000 F-35s are expected to be delivered over the life of the program, with more than 84 delivered to the US Department of Defence to date.