Airbus has signed supply contracts with two more Japanese companies for the A380 programme and has awarded ShinMaywa a second contract.

The addition of Bridgestone and Mitsubishi Rayon to the ultra-large airliner programme increases the number of Japanese firms involved to 15.

Bridgestone will supply tyres beginning in the fourth quarter of 2005, under its first original equipment supplier contract with Airbus. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Rayon will provide "advanced composite materials" to help make A380 parts.

ShinMaywa's second A380 contract covers the supply of composite ramp surfaces of the aircraft's wing and follows its deal to provide root fillet fairings, signed last year.

These new contracts increase the revenues that Japanese suppliers will generate from the A380 programme to "well over $3 billion in years to come", says Airbus.

Source: Flight International