Australia’s largest independent aerospace composite manufacturer secures its second drone contract with Carbonix. 

Quickstep Holdings (ASX:QHL) has signed its second major drone contract with Carbonix, inking a new $2.3 million contract that will see the leading Australian drone manufacturer triple its production over the next year.

Under the 12 month contract, Quickstep will manufacture 40 of Carbonix’s latest long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over the next 12 months, utilising its proprietary AeroQure manufacturing system. The UAV is the next successor to Carbonix’s Domani and is optimised for linear asset inspections, featuring advanced aerodynamics, increased payload capacity and an aviation-standard twin cylinder engine to allow for steep climb rates to follow power lines.

Quickstep Managing Director Mark Burgess said the company anticipated demand for the aircraft to substantially exceed initial production volumes.

“Our engineering-led industrial 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,” he said.

Aerospace and defence leaders

Quickstep is a leader in delivering advanced composite solutions to the global aerospace and defence sectors, manufacturing components for aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, C-130J and F/A-18. The company’s customers include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

Quickstep began manufacturing Volanti, Carbonix’s smallest all electric fixed-wing VTOL UAV (Vertical take-off and landing Un-crewed Aerial Vehicle) drones, late last year allowing Carbonix to fulfil an order from Anduril, the US defence tech startup founded by tech entrepreneur Palmer Luckey that recently won a $US1 billion counter-drone contract from the US Special Operations Command.

The deal is the second stage of a broader manufacturing partnership, announced late last year, which will eventually see Quickstep manufacture all Carbonix drones.

Quality Assurance

Carbonix CEO Philip van der Burg said Quickstep’s manufacturing processes and quality management systems deliver the high levels of quality assurance Carbonix customers expect 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. 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,” he said.

In January, Quickstep secured a contract award from Dronamics for the production and supply of initial low-rate aerostructures for the Black Swan unmanned cargo aircraft. Dronamics is the world’s first cargo drone airline, based in Europe with a well-advanced global network plan.

This article was developed in collaboration with Carbonix, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.