Airbus Expands Japanese Industrial Partnership

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced today the participation of three leading Japanese manufacturers in the A380 aircraft programme now under development. In addition to the seven Japanese suppliers which were already announced early in the year, ShinMaywa Industries Ltd., The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., and Nikkiso Co. Ltd. are now joining the next-generation super jumbo programme.

Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard said : “We are very pleased to confirm the participation of these three highly skilled and renowned companies. Their state-of-the-art carbon fibre reinforced plastic production technology will surely enhance the most advanced airliner programme currently under development and launched in production. The support of ShinMaywa, Yokohama Rubber and Nikkiso to the A380 programme success is highly appreciated.”

With the addition of these three companies, the estimated revenue of Japan in the A380 programme will be well over US $1,750m in the years to come. The contribution of the new suppliers is as follows:

ShinMaywa Industries Ltd. (SMI) will be responsible for the supply of the main wing root fillet fairing. Manufacturing and assembly will be completed at SMI’s Konan factory, in Kobe (Hyogo Prefecture) and the first article is to be delivered in April 2004. This is the first industrial collaboration contract of ShinMaywa with Airbus.

The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (YRC) will be supplying the water and waste tanks for the water/waste management system. The production of the CFRP filament winding tanks will take place at YRC’s plant in Hiratsuka (Kanagawa Prefecture) and delivery of first tanks is scheduled for March 2004. This is the first contract of Yokohama Rubber for any Airbus model.
NIkkiso Co. Ltd. (Nikkiso) will be supplying the CFRP cascades to be used in the engine nacelle thrust reversers. Production will be at Nikkiso’s Shizuoka plant in Haibara (Shizuoka Prefecture) and the first parts are expected in November 2004. Nikkiso is already supplying the cascades for other thrust reversers being currently used in most of Airbus aircraft.

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To date, nine customers have announced firm orders and commitments for a total of 97 A380s. The 555-seater A380 will enter into service in early 2006.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.

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