Japan and France embark on joint aerospace venture

Japan and France embark on joint aerospace venture

The Society of Japanese Aerospace companies and the French Aerospace Industries Association have agreed to embark on a joint project to develop a successor to the Concorde.

The two groups reached agreement during the Paris Airshow to conduct the three-year project.

The Japanese have been pursuing development of a commercially feasible supersonic aircraft for years.

But beyond the effort to develop a new supersonic aircraft, which some critics dismissed on Wednesday as too expensive and not really needed or wanted, the deal is seen as a way to build the relationship between the French and Japanese aerospace industries and to open up the Japanese market to Airbus, in a nation where Boeing has had a near-monopoly for over 50 years.

Among the areas expected to be studied by the joint research are the structure of composite materials and the reduction of jet-engine noise.

The Japanese and French governments and industry will each make an initial investment of A?100 million in the first year of the project, and they are expected to invest a total of A?600 million over the three years of the agreement.

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