New Australian F-35 Facility


Northrop Grumman F-35 Supplier Quickstep Opens New Facility

BANKSTOWN, Australia, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s largest F-35 Australian supplier–Quickstep Technologies Pty Ltd.–opened a new facility in Bankstown, Australia. Quickstep supplies composite skins and subassemblies for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter center fuselage that is produced by Northrop Grumman.

Today’s facility opening proves Quickstep’s ability to serve as a supplier of aerospace-grade composite parts, and as a source of skilled engineering and manufacturing expertise.

Quickstep has already commenced production on the first phase of F-35 parts. It completed the qualification process for the manufacture of more complex parts in April 2012 and signed a long-term agreement in May 2012 to supply these components until 2020.

“Northrop Grumman is honored to be part of this opening ceremony,” said Gary Ervin, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “This new facility is just one example of the investments Quickstep has made that will benefit the F-35 program. It’s a testament to the strong industrial partnership Northrop Grumman has with Quickstep in producing the F-35 center fuselage, and with the governments of Australia and New South Wales in establishing this critical composite manufacturing capability in Australia.”

With the opening of its new facility, Quickstep offers the scale and resources necessary to undertake large-scale, long-term aerospace manufacturing contracts along with access to a qualified and skilled labor pool. This will benefit the execution of Quickstep’s F-35 work, as well as their recently won C-130J flaps production contract from Lockheed Martin.

In 2002, the commonwealth of Australia joined the F-35 program. It plans to purchase 100 F-35s during 2014-2023. Australia, one of the eight international partners on the F-35 program, has made significant contributions to the design and development phases of the program. The first two Royal Australian Air Force F-35 center fuselages will go into manufacturing flow in low-rate initial production Lot 6, with the first air ducts scheduled to be jig-loaded this September.