The two companies confirmed that they have entered into a partnership for the delivery of Quickstep’s tooling, engineering and manufacturing services, and a production run for the KITE unmanned cargo aircraft.
Quickstep has confirmed that it has entered into a manufacturing partnership with Swoop Aero, with Quickstep agreeing to deliver engineering and manufacturing services, tooling and an initial production run for the KITE unmanned cargo aircraft.
According to a statement from Quickstep, the Strategy Supply Agreement is valued at an estimated $1.5 million and expected to last until mid-2022, with the potential to expand the contract. Further, Quickstep also agreed to invest $2 million in convertible notes, which may be converted into a minority stake of Swoop Aero's parent company Kookaburra Aerospace.
"Swoop Aero is a great example of an exciting Australian start-up successfully developing world-leading technology in a new market segment. Their technical achievements and demonstrated operational capability make them a great launch customer for the recently established Quickstep Advanced Air Mobility business and further develops our ability to access the dynamic and rapidly growing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) market. We look forward to supporting their undoubted growth potential," Mark burgess, chief executive of Quickstep, said.
Eric Peck, chief executive of Swoop Aero, said, "Our strategic supplier-operator collaboration with Quickstep furthers our goal to keep our innovation and manufacturing local. We are driving outcomes for Australian industries which in turn is delivering impact across the globe. The partnership will underpin our continued focus on building sovereign manufacturing capability, the resilience of which proved to be a significant strength of the organisation in overcoming the industry disruptions cause by COVID-19."
With demand for our services increasing worldwide, this strategic partnership will further support the growth targets for our manufacturing capability. Thanks to Quickstep, we can guarantee that our manufacturing team can meet the increased demand for our aircraft, with up to 1,000 aircraft already planned for manufacture in 2022."
The announcement came as Quickstep confirmed its intent to expand into the UAS market in July.
In July, the company unveiled plans to expand its global military and commercial offering by investing $1 million for a minority stake in Sydney-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company Carbonicboats — currently trading as Carbonix.
As part of the agreement, a Quickstep representative will be appointed to the Carbonix board, with the companies also in the process of negotiating a manufacturing agreement.
“This is a great opportunity to combine the skills of two leading Australian aerospace companies, offering structural access to the dynamic and rapidly growing unmanned aerial systems market,” Burgess said.
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[Related: Quickstep expands into UAS market]