TOKYO, March 14 IHI Corp, General
Electric's jet engine partner in Japan, may tie up
aircraft engine part production with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Ltd which is more closely aligned with GE's
IHI and Mitsubishi Heavy said there were discussing an
alliance announcement after Japan's leading daily, the Yomiuri
said the firms planned to establish a new company in which the
Japanese government may also invest.
Mitsubishi Heavy makes parts for Rolls-Royce Holdings and
Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
IHI, which is the primary supplier of aircraft engines to
Japan's military, and Mitsubishi Heavy said in a joint statement
that no decision had been made regarding what form any joint
venture might take.
The combination of the jet engine units of the two companies
could bolster Japan as a leading maker of aircraft engines by
creating a company with significant stakes in engine programmes
that power much of the world's fleet of civilian jetliners. It
would also align with the Japanese government's push to mould
national champions out of the nation's fractured industrial
"Business alliances and partnerships to boost international
competitiveness is in line with last autumn's law on industrial
competitiveness," Japan's Minister of Economy Trade and Industry
said at a regular press briefing on Friday when asked about the
possible MHI and IHI partnership.
Japan's other big maker of jet engines, Kawasaki Heavy
Industries may also join the alliance, the Yomiuri
IHI is a major supplier and risk sharing partner on GE's
GE-90 engine used on Boeing's 777 passenger jet as well
as the more recent GEnX used to power Boeing's 747-8 and 787
Dreamliner. It also builds engines for Japan's F-2 fighter
Mitsubishi Heavy makes parts for Rolls Royce's Trent 1000
engine, which is also designed for Boeing's 787. It also builds
components for Pratt & Whitney's PW4000 used on Boeing aircraft
as well Airbus's A31 and A330.