2014-04-15 During the visit to Australia, Second Line of Defense had a chance to interview the CEO of Quickstep.
In that interview, Philippe Odouard, the CEO of Quickstep, underscored how he saw the program and the participation of his company in the program.
We see the program as the military equivalent of a civilian aerospace program such as the A320 or the Boeing 737. It is a program with a long production run and global reach and allows us to engage in a global production engagement.
With the F-35 program, we are supplying key composite elements to Northrop Grumman, which is the major producer of the fuselage, and whose new plant is a state of the art automated manufacturing facility.
A measure of the recognition we receive from Northrop is that the President of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems came to Australia for the opening of our new facility in Bankstown, Australia.
Indeed, during the opening ceremonies we had a video link back to Los Angeles where the Northrop team participated virtually in the opening which symbolizes the approach of working closely together to deliver reliable parts.
In fact, we compete within the supply chain to provide high quality parts and have been consistently recognized by Northrop to be at the head of the class.
According to a story published in Australian Defence Magazine, Quickstep has has signed a long-term agreement (LTA) to supply about 700 sets of carbon fibre composite parts for the JSF aircraft vertical tails over a period of 14 years.
Quickstep Managing Director, Philippe Odouard, said, “We are delighted to sign this long-term agreement, which locks in the previous memorandum of understanding for the Joint Strike Fighter program.
This is an important step forward for Australian manufacturing, which demonstrates the value of our capabilities for global aerospace and defence contracts, and our capacity to meet the complex schedules of international supply chains.”
At peak production rates, the new LTA is expected to provide $13 million p.a. sales revenue for Quickstep. The LTA provides for annual purchase orders initially, with longer-term purchase orders to be confirmed as the program matures.
The LTA follows Quickstep’s memorandum of understanding, signed in November 2009.