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Sydney-based Quickstep Holdings Ltd has signed a $2.34 million follow-on contract with fellow Sydney company Carbonix for the production and supply of 40 composite airframe shipsets for their latest long-range Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS).
This will allow Carbonix to fulfil an order from Anduril, the US defence software firm that recently won a $US1 billion counter-drone contract from the US Special Operations Command. Anduril is also currently developing the RAN’s new Ghost Shark Extra-Large Autonomous Underwater Vessel (XL-AUV) at an undisclosed venue on Sydney Harbour in a $140 million program.
The 12-month contract will enable Carbonix to triple its production over the next year and will see Quickstep manufacture the components using its proprietary AeroQure manufacturing system. All the UAS fabrication work will be conducted at Quickstep’s Geelong facility.
Carbonix CEO Philip van der Burg said Quickstep’s manufacturing processes and quality management systems delivered the high levels of quality assurance Carbonix customers expected, while allowing the company to scale production to meet local and overseas demand.
“We understand the critical role that quality assurance plays in delivering the highest level of performance to our customers,” he said. “That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with a company that shares our commitment to excellence, and whose advanced processes and quality management systems will help us raise the bar even higher.”
“Our engineering-led solutions have great traction with drone companies and we are delighted to be supporting Carbonix as they increase their market penetration in Australia and the USA,” said Quickstep CEO Mark Burgess. “We anticipate the demand for this aircraft will substantially exceed the initial production volume.”
Quickstep has also won a 5-year follow-on contract from Lockheed Martin Corporation to manufacture composite trailing edge flaps for the C-130J Hercules airlifter. The company’s current C-130J contract, valued at $86.5 million, is due to complete by December 2024. It is expected that the formal award, with finalised volumes by year, will be announced before the end of calendar year 2023. The contract has a maximum anticipated value of $96 million. All work will be completed at the Company’s Bankstown facility in Sydney, the company says.