Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi and five other Japanese companies have formed a joint venture called Galaxy Express to develop and market the J-2 medium lift satellite launch vehicle. The first launch is expected in 2006.

The venture includes Kawasaki Heavy Industries, IHI Aerospace (formerly Nissan), Japan Aviation Electronics, Fuji Heavy Industries and Kokusai Sohko. Shareholders include Rocket Systems, the industrial consortium which markets the H2A. Development of the J-2 is expected to cost $400 million, a third of which will be funded by Galaxy Express and the rest by the Japanese Government.

Lockheed Martin and GenCorp Aerojet are also involved in the J-2 development. The will provide Atlas tankage and the modified Russian NK-33 engine, respectively.

Source: Flight International