Boeing Commercial Airplanes has an agreement with five Japanese manufacturers covering a significant volume of work for its new 777X jet — the upgraded version of its long-range, twin-engine aircraft, announced late last year. The OEM indicated the successor to the current 777 would start production in 2017, enhanced with some technologies developed for the 787 Dreamliner, including composite wings and the GE9X high-bypass turbofan engines.  

Boeing indicated Japan Aircraft Industries (JAI) and Japan Aircraft Development Corporation (JADC) would supply approximately 21% of the major structural components for the two 777 versions, but it did not detail other terms of their “memorandum of agreement.”

The structural components include fuselage sections; center wing sections; pressure bulkheads; main landing gear wells; passenger, cargo and main landing gear doors; wing components and wing-body fairings.

"This agreement with our Japanese partners extends our important and strategic relationship for decades to come," said George Maffeo, president of Boeing Japan. "As the 777X is larger than the current 777, the value of the structural components procured from Japan will be proportionately higher, generating more value for our partners as well for Boeing. "

JAI is a consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Fuji Heavy Industries, ShinMaywa Industries, and NIPPI Corporation. JADC is a trade association that coordinates joint commercial and technological programs involving the Japanese aircraft industry.

"The companies that make up the JAI are consistently high performers, deliver superior quality and have worked with us to meet affordability goals for the 777X," stated Ray Conner, president and CEO for Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. "They model the kind of partnership we need from our global suppliers to best serve our customers and meet the changing demands in the marketplace."

Boeing noted it has partnered with Japanese aerospace companies for almost 50 years to develop and manufacture several of its jet series, including various iterations of the 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787. It said it spent more than $4 billion for goods and services in Japan last year.

"Participating as a partner in the next generation 777X program is another significant step for Japan Aircraft Industries, following the success of today's best-selling 777," according to Hideaki Omiya, chairman of JADC and chairman of MHI.