Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) are negotiating with Rolls-Royce to take a share in the development and production of the new Trent 500 engine for the planned Airbus A340-500/600.

The two Japanese manufacturers are discussing using the Trent 500 programme to widen their relationships with R-R. Talks are understood to include follow-on Japanese participation in the proposed larger Trent 600 derivative engine for the Boeing 767-400 and 747-400 growth proposals.

R-R is keen to offer KHI and IHI a chance to participate in the Trent 500 project in place of the now-delayed Trent 900 programme for the A3XX. KHI's plans to take a 6% risk-sharing interest in the 340kN (76,000lb)-thrust Trent 900 were thrown into doubt by Boeing's decision to shelve the 747-500/600 major derivatives (Flight International, 26 February-4 March, P8).

KHI officials in Tokyo have confirmed that the company is in negotiations with R-R, but decline to give any details other than to suggest that it will be an extension of their involvement with the Trent 700/800 and RB.211-524G/H powerplants. The company has a 3% stake in the engines and is responsible for the first-, second- and third-stage low-pressure turbine discs, nozzle guide-vanes and compressor casing.

IHI has a slightly larger 5% stake in the RB.211-524 and Trent family programmes. Its primary area of responsibility is machining main shafts for the engines. It also has a 8.5% stake in the rival General Electric GE90 engine and produces shafts for the PW4000 series.

R-R is looking for international partners to take up to 21% of the 250kN Trent 500, in addition to their participation in the Trent 700/800 programmes. French manufacturer Snecma recently again rebuffed R-R overtures to become involved in the Trent 500 programme.

Source: Flight International