Quickstep wins Manufacturer of the Year at 2011 Endeavour Awards

Ottobrunn, (PresseBox) - Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX: QHL - "Quickstep" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it was awarded Manufacturer of the Year at last night's 2011 Manufacturers' Monthly Endeavour Awards in Melbourne.

The Company also received the Global Integration Award, which recognises manufacturers who have successfully engaged in international supply chains.

Quickstep received the awards in recognition of its efforts to successfully enter the F-35 supply chain culminating in the recent signing of a Long Term Agreement (LTA) for manufacturing for the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program - the largest military aerospace program in the world, currently valued at in excess of US$300 billion worldwide.

Commenting on the awards, the Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, said: "Manufacturing is at the centre of a modern economy and these awards recognise leaders in different fields. They show the importance of innovation and what manufacturing can achieve."

Managing Director of Quickstep, Mr Philippe Odouard, said the receipt of both the Global Integration Award and 2011 Manufacturer of the Year was an outstanding achievement for the Company, and a testament to the hard work of the Quickstep team.

"We are delighted to have been recognised for our work on the Joint Strike Fighter program," he said. "The signing of a Long Term Agreement to manufacturing parts for the F-35 a 5th Generation stealth fighter was a landmark event for Quickstep and prepares the Company for further defence and aerospace contracts to be manufactured here in Australia. I would like to pay tribute to each of the Company's team members for their vital contributions."

The LTA, which was signed in February 2011, represents the first of several agreements which will implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2009 with F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, one of its principal F-35 subcontractors.

Under the MOU, Quickstep will supply a range of JSF components, including a large number of composite doors and panels. The total value of the contracts is expected to be in the hundreds of millions over the period of some 22 years with first parts scheduled for delivery in 2012.

Quickstep GmbH

Quickstep is an Australian-based company at the forefront of advanced materials manufacturing and technology transfer for the global aerospace and defence industries.

The use of advanced composites is rapidly growing with carbon material usage planned to increase at an average rate of 20% per annum for the next 10 years, underwritten by the emergence of high-use carbon fibre commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Light weighting of vehicles is the prime driver with commercial aircraft and military equipment leading the charge.

Quickstep has significant capabilities and expertise in the production of aerospace-grade composite components using both conventional autoclave-based manufacturing and leading edge out-of-autoclave production technologies, including its proprietary Quickstep Process. Quickstep is set to generate revenue using three distinct business models:

1. Technology transfer through the provision of the proprietary Quickstep Process and production equipment;

2. Manufacture of composite components, out of its Australian facility; and 3. Conducting paid or self-funded Research & Development on new composite structures.

Quickstep signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's) in 2009 in relation to manufacturing contracts for the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program - the largest military aerospace program in the world, currently valued at in excess of US$300 billion worldwide. The first was signed with global aerospace companies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, for around $700 million of potential contracts. The second MOU was signed with Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering for up to $50 million of contracts to manufacture Vertical Tail skins for the JSF.

Quickstep signed a Long Term Agreement with Northrop Grumman in relation to the first parts we have been allocated under the JSF program in February 2011, with a start date for JSF part delivery set for early 2012. Further contracts for additional parts are expected progressively during 2012.

The Company has a fully-commissioned aerospace-grade manufacturing facility located in North Coogee, Western Australia, and recently announced plans to relocate its manufacturing operations to the former Boeing facility at Bankstown, New South Wales, which offers the scale, resources and utilities necessary to undertake large-scale, long term aerospace manufacturing contracts.

In addition to its Australian operations, Quickstep also has facilities in strategic global locations including North America, Europe and the UK.

The Company is currently partnering with some of the world's largest aerospace/defence companies, including the US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Bae Systems, Boeing, Airbus and EADS.

Quickstep is also developing a unique patented process that can deliver high surface finish, low cost fast processing of carbon fibre composite particularly adapted to the automotive industry.

For further information, visit: www.quickstep.com.au



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