Australia's Quickstep Holdings has announced a second Long Term Agreement (LTA) with Northrop Grumman Corporation to manufacture parts for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The LTA covers production of “Group 2” JSF components until 2020, and follows the LTA signed in February 2011 for Group 1 JSF components, for which manufacturing is now underway.

Group 2 parts represent more complex aircraft components, including portions of the main F-35 structure and supports.

The first Purchase Order for Group 2 parts is expected to be received in July 2012.

The signing of the LTA follows Quickstep’s successful completion of a qualification process to demonstrate production readiness for the manufacture of Group 2 parts.

Managing Director of Quickstep, Mr Philippe Odouard, said the securing of a second LTA with Northrop Grumman represented a further endorsement of the Company’s aerospace manufacturing capabilities.

“Through our production of Group 1 JSF parts, Quickstep has confirmed its ability to successfully undertake advanced aerospace manufacturing contracts and feed into Northrop Grumman’s international supply chain for the F-35 project,” he said.

“This expansion of Quickstep’s contracts to include Group 2 parts will increase the number and variety of components the Company will supply to the JSF program.”

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