Advanced composite component manufacturer, Quickstep, is predicting more than 20 per cent revenue growth in 2019 due to the ramp up in production volumes of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, to which Quickstep is a key supplier.
The predictions are part of the company’s ASX update for the first quarter of 2019. The Bankstown-based company is also expecting to deliver positive EBIT for the full year FY19.
Quickstep has delivered strong sales growth in Q1 FY19. with sales revenue of $17.6 million, up 42 per cent compared to $12.4 million in Q1 FY18. This represented 6 per cent growth on $16.6 million in Q4 FY18 and all components were supplied on time and in line with program demand during the quarter.
Quickstep remains on track to deliver higher Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) volumes over the next two years, with JSF revenue expected to increase more than 40 per cent in FY19.
Quickstep is currently developing work for two Boeing Defence contracts for F-15 and F-18 combat aircraft components. The company has Approved Supplier status with Boeing, which opens up significant future business opportunities across the Boeing Company.
In July, Quickstep was awarded a new defence project to establish production for F-35 countermeasure flare housings. It will be funded via Chemring Australia from the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, and additionally a NACC-ISP grant of $1 million will complement investment being made by Quickstep.
Quickstep has been working at its Geelong research facility to upgrade its patented Qure technology for composite components manufacturing to aerospace grade. The company announced that initial process testing of upgraded Qure to aerospace specifications is providing promising results compared to autoclave performance, including significant reduction in process time and pressure, and equivalent material / part performance.
The company will apply advanced tooling and process engineering skills to establish new world‐class advanced manufacturing capabilities at Bankstown. This extends Quickstep’s capability to support the F‐35 Program and other defence and aerospace projects. The housings will be supplied to Chemring Australia.
Quickstep is also partnering with General Atomics in the “Team Reaper” tender for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems. The company expects this partnership to lead to additional project opportunities with General Atomics.
In August, Quickstep signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lockheed Martin associated with the supply of C‐130J and LM‐100J wing flaps for an additional five‐years from 2020 to 2024. Quickstep has an existing contract with Lockheed Martin to provide wing flaps for the C‐130J/LM‐100J aircraft through to end‐2019, and this contract extension will continue the successful supply chain relationship.