Rolls-Royce to bid for new China-Russia wide-body jet engines
Rolls-Royce will join the bid to provide engines for the CRAIC CR929 (formerly known as C929), a new wide-body jetliner China is developing together with Russia, the China Daily newspaper reported on April 14, 2018. The first round of bidding is expected to begin in May 2018.
The request for a proposal to supply the new CR929 jet with engines was issued to manufacturers in December 2017. The British Rolls-Royce and the U.S. General Electric, among other companies, are expected to respond, China Daily writes. The first round of bidding should start in May 2018, with the results expected to be announced by the end of 2018 or in 2019.
“We are taking it very seriously. We want to be the engine provider. The CR929 will invite a lot of positive competition and innovative opportunities to the aviation industry,” Paul Stein, chief technology officer of Rolls-Royce, was quoted as saying in Beijing on April 13, 2018.
The Chinese state-owned plane manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) is developing the CR929 jet together with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), in a joint venture that is known as the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Company (CRAIC).
Rolls-Royce’s engineering and technology team is reportedly in talks with CRAIC, “to ensure the potential engine to be used will best fit the aircraft”. In addition, the British engine manufacturer is discussing “potential cooperation opportunities” with other Chinese firms, including aero engine manufacturers, China Daily writes.
"China has an ambition in developing its civil aviation industry. Rolls-Royce wants to be part of that ambition and growth," Stein was quoted as saying by the newspaper. The British company itself has not provided any public statement on the matter so far.
China is developing its own homegrown jets in order to raise the country’s profile in global aviation. The first passenger plane made in China was the C919 narrow-body jet, which completed its maiden flight in November 2017. The follow-up model – the C929 (now CR929) - a long-range, twin-aisle, wide-body jetliner, could be introduced in 2025, with its maiden flights and first deliveries taking place sometime in 2025-2028.
According to Reuters, with the new jet, the company aims to disrupt the current Boeing and Airbus duopoly, and to eventually take 10% of the wide-body jetliner market dominated by the B787 and A350.
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