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Quickstep to produce parts for Thales Australia’s Hawkei

28 October 2014

Sydney based manufacturer Quickstep Holdings Limited today announced that it has entered into its first agreement to utilise its innovative “Resin Spray Transfer” (RST) technology developed for the automotive industry.

Quickstep has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with defence contractor Thales Australia confirming Quickstep’s selection as exclusive supplier of the bonnet, side skirts and mud guards for Thales Hawkei vehicles.

Thales is currently bidding to supply the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei to the Department of Defence, to replace Army Land Rovers. Final approval is expected in 2015, which could lead to the production of up to 1,300 Hawkei vehicles over four years.

Completion of the agreement, expected to be valued in excess of $8 million, would represent a significant achievement for Quickstep and provide a strong endorsement of this new manufacturing technology within the broader automotive industry, said Executive Director Mr Philippe Odouard.

Quickstep says its RST technology uses an innovative ‘robotised’ process that dramatically reduces manufacturing times and costs for producing carbon fibre composite vehicle parts. The process delivers parts that are strong and corrosion‐resistant yet lightweight, key requirements for Hawkei vehicles. Importantly, these same criteria are crucial for future commercial vehicles required to comply with US and European fuel efficiency legislation, leading Quickstep to advance discussions with several leading car makers. Reducing the weight of passenger cars will help reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, said Odouard.

"The agreement with Thales represents a crucial stepping‐stone towards commercialising Quickstep's RST technology within the automotive industry," he said.

"We are excited to be involved in the Hawkei project and look forward to the project's initiation from the DMO and, on our current expected schedule, anticipate delivering first parts in 2015. This is a revolutionary carbon fibre composite technology which will reduce the weight of key components by up to 50%, representing a big improvement. This bonnet is made in one piece using a sandwich structure, the application of the RST process to a sandwich structure is an important step forward dramatically reducing assembly costs in addition to saving weight.”

"This agreement enhances our opportunity to sell the RST technology to the world's leading automobile producers. This is a highly innovative technology that demonstrates a positive future for carbon fibre manufacturing in Australia," said Odouard.

Kevin Wall, Thales Australia’s Vice President Protected Vehicles, said: “Quickstep is an innovative company with a ground breaking technology that can take the Hawkei to new levels of effectiveness and help save soldiers’ lives on operations. Australian SMEs play a valuable role supporting the defence and transportation industries, and Quickstep has made tremendous progress in a very short time to establish its automotive credentials. We look forward to working with them to deliver outstanding protection to Aussie troops."

Issued:
28/10/2014

Media Contact Details::
Ashley Rambukwella / Robert Williams
Financial & Corporate Relations
Telephone: +61 2 8264 1004 / 0407 231 282
or +61 2 8264 1003 / 0468 999 369
E: a.rambukwella@fcr.com.au or r.williams@fcr.com.au