Quickstep to establish Kansas manufacturing plant to expand US market presence

Image credit: Quickstep

Aerospace composite manufacturer Quickstep announced the selection of Wichita, Kansas as the preferred location for its first engineering and manufacturing facility in the United States. 

In an ASX announcement, Quickstep said the decision comes after an eight-month process that included site identification (considering more than 20 US locations), competitive expressions of interest for shortlisted sites, and final proposals from state economic development agencies.

The first stage focuses on finding a location, outfitting it with the necessary equipment, and assembling a foundational engineering, production, and business support team. 

The company’s unique Qure technology, which is already heavily utilised in Quickstep’s drone production contracts, will be expanded at this facility. 

With the help of additional automated composite fabrication and assembly process investments, this core technology will help Quickstep quickly become the preferred supplier for the US commercial drone market.

By leveraging expertise and resources on both sides of the Pacific, engineering and manufacturing services are expected to be increasingly contracted to defence and commercial customers. 

Quickstep said it will be able to gradually harness the vast spectrum of emerging opportunities under the AUKUS military and technology partnership with a US presence.

The ASX-listed company said in a statement, “We will be working closely with the Greater Wichita Partnership to agree detailed terms, investment timing and facility development over the next three months. The intent, subject to the successful outcome of these discussions and overall investment criteria being met, is to have an initial operational capability during CY24.”

Steve Osborne, VP at Quickstep, commented on the development, saying, “Wichita is a globally recognised centre of excellence for aerospace technology, the location itself will offer significant business expansion opportunities.”

Osborne emphasised that the company’s existing presence in the United States has already increased the assurance of new business prospects and opened the door to many more possible client and contract partnerships. 

He said this is an exciting time for Quickstep and that growth in the United States will be a distinguishing aspect of the group’s overall future growth.