Kawasaki Heavy Industries is believed to have agreed to pay almost £23m towards the cost of developing Rolls-Royce’s Trent 500 turbofan aero engine.
This represents 3% of the engine’s development costs. Kawasaki will probably also supply parts for the engine. The total cost of the Trent 500’s development is £736m.
Kawasaki’s involvement follows the July announcement that Japanese trading house Marubeni will fund between 5% and 10% of the engine’s development, at a cost of £36.8m £73.6m.
However, Rolls-Royce was unwilling to confirm further details of what it called the Japanese ‘risk and revenue sharing partners’ in the Trent 500’s development.
The UK Government is putting £200m towards development costs, following the intervention of Prime Minister Tony Blair, who rejected Treasury protests that Rolls-Royce could afford to develop the engine alone.
The first Trent 500 production engine is due early next year. The range will power the new four-engined Airbus A340-500 and A340-600 long-range airliners.