Tokyo, February 12, 2014 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has compiled a comprehensive production base expansion scheme for the mass production of the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), a next-generation regional jet presently under development.
To accommodate the MRJ's flight-related needs, including test flights and aircraft parking, the company is hoping to use Nagoya Airport in Aichi Prefecture, with Kitakyushu Airport in Fukuoka Prefecture serving in a subordinate role. Plans call for production to be carried out at five bases primarily in the Nagoya area: the existing Oye Plant and Iwatsuka Plant both in Nagoya itself, the Tobishima Plant just southwest of Nagoya, the Matsusaka Plant in Mie Prefecture, and a newly planned site adjacent to Nagoya Airport. In addition, production will be launched at MHI's Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works in Hyogo Prefecture.
The newly compiled scheme encompasses three production aspects.
1. Final assembly:
MHI hopes to acquire a site next to Nagoya Airport where it plans to construct a new factory tasked largely with final assembly operations.
2. Assembly of components:
MHI is planning to use its Oye and Tobishima plants for fuselage and wing assembly, and its Matsusaka Plant for tail assembly.
3. Parts production:
- The parts of medium to large scale will be manufactured at the Oye Plant.
- Smaller parts will be made at the Iwatsuka Plant and, under an industrial cluster arrangement, by partners using the Matsusaka Plant.
- Wings will be produced on a new integrated production line to be constructed at the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works in the area formerly used for shipbuilding and others.
To carry out the new production scheme, MHI will work closely with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and with its contracted suppliers. At the same time it will also coordinate with authorities at the national and regional level to ensure the scheme's successful implementation.
The MRJ is a family of 70- to 90-seat next-generation regional jets under development by Mitsubishi Aircraft. The new aircraft will offer substantially higher fuel efficiency combined with reductions in noise and gas emissions; this outstanding operating economy and environmental compatibility will contribute significantly to boosting airlines' competitiveness and earning capacity. The MRJ will also provide spacious cabin comfort on a level unprecedented in regional jets to date. Orders have already been received for 325 units of the aircraft (165 confirmed). The first test flight is scheduled for the second quarter of 2015, and delivery of the first aircraft is planned for the second quarter of 2017.