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​Mitsubishi issues update on MRJ manufacturing base

Mitsubishi Aircraft has finalised details about its plan for expanding the production base for the MRJ regional jet programme.

The new production base draws heavily from the capabilities of parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), says the manufacturer. Confirmation about the production base expansion, originally announced in February 2014, was contained in the same statement where a delay to the aircraft’s first flight to the third quarter was announced.

The new MRJ factory is being constructed next to Nagoya Airport, and will be used to perform final assembly, outfitting, and painting. Meanwhile, MHI’s Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works will “integrally produce” parts for the aircraft’s wings. These will then be transported to Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works’ Tobishima factory for fabrication on a dedicated assembly line, that is now under construction.

Final assembly of the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engines will take place at MHI Aero Engines.

“To control and manage the physical distribution of the vast number of items involved, a real-time network linking all production facilities in Japan and worldwide suppliers will be established,” says Mitsubishi Aircraft.

In February 2014, MHI said production would be carried out a five bases, with the primary one to be located adjacent to Nagoya Airport.

Despite the delay to the MRJ’s first flight from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2015, the company remains confident it will remain on schedule for a first delivery in the second quarter of 2017.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that there are 223 firm orders for the MRJ. The company has also secured 164 options and 20 letters of intent.

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