TOKYO, April 28 Boeing Co has lined up Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to build one-fifth of its latest plane, the 777X, retaining Japan as its key Asia partner in commercial jetliners, two sources with knowledge of the U.S. company's production plan said.
A fifth of the airframe build would give the Japanese companies a workshare on par with the 21 percent of the 777 they have been fabricating since 1995. But because Boeing plans eventually to make more planes per month, there should be a greater volume of work for the Japanese suppliers, one of the sources said. Boeing's current production rate for the 777 is 8.3 a month.
A Boeing spokesman in Tokyo declined to confirm the information.
"Supply chain partnerships and production system decisions will be addressed at the appropriate time," the spokesman said. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Edmund Klamann)