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Rolls Hands Mitsubishi A350 Work, Boosting Japan Order Prospects

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, the sole provider of engines for Airbus SAS’s new A350 jet, recruited Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to help build an upgraded power-plant for a model chasing its first orders in Japan.

Mitsubishi will be a risk and revenue sharing partner on the Trent XWB-97 that’s being devised for the largest A350 model, manufacturing turbine blades and developing other components, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today.

Airbus is seeking Japanese orders for the A350, which first flew last month, in a market where Boeing Co. is dominant. ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. have ordered the Boeing 787 that competes with smaller variants of the European jet, and Mitsubishi Heavy is also a component supplier to the U.S. plane.

The A350-1000, which takes on the Boeing 777-300ER, has 145 firm orders and is due for delivery from 2017. Rolls said last month that tests will begin soon to show it can boost the XWB’s thrust from 84,000 pounds to the required 97,000 pounds.

Mitsubishi will also gain additional work on the Trent 1000 turbine that powers the 787 Dreamliner. The Japanese company will be involved in developing the Trent 1000-TEN, an upgraded turbine aimed at powering all Dreamliners, including the 787-10, the largest version of which Boeing began selling last month.

Rolls plans to have the first development version of the 76,000 pound-thrust engine ready for testing this year.

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