Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Continue to Broaden Airplanes and Space Program Relationships
Today, executives of The Boeing Company and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) met to celebrate the signing of a teaming agreement to reinforce their ongoing commitment to the future of the International Space Station (ISS). Additionally, they agreed to explore new opportunities in the field of aerospace as they continue to jointly expand their global aerospace businesses.
Under the teaming agreement, Boeing and MHI will work cooperatively to ensure an integrated global approach for the long-term support of ISS. The agreement includes a range of U.S. payload integration for the H-II Transfer Vehicle, systems integration support for the Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM), U.S. payload accommodation analysis for Kibo (the Japanese Experimental Module), and logistics activities related to those key elements.
"We are pleased to continue our work with MHI," said Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager - Boeing International Space Station. "It not only integrates our experiences and competencies but also engenders our joint effort to provide efficient solutions to our customers."
MHI is a major contractor to the National Space Development Agency of Japan for systems integration of key ISS elements such as the CAM, H-II Transfer Vehicle and Kibo.
"MHI would like to find new business opportunities and establish a stronger relationship with Boeing through the teaming agreement activities for the ISS program," said Tadayuki Tanioka, MHI managing director, general manager of Aerospace Headquarters.
In May, MHI and Boeing signed and announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Global Cooperative Relationship signifying their expanded cooperation in aerospace and other business areas. The two aerospace giants are jointly studying detailed business opportunities to enhance their worldwide competitiveness by providing superior products and best services. In addition to the International Space Station teaming agreement, other Space & Communications areas that MHI and Boeing are conducting feasibility studies for include electronic systems, launch programs, manned and unmanned space systems. Development of new commercial airplanes, product services, financial support activities, and intelligent technology are also being studied in the Commercial Airplanes arena under the overarching joint MOU.
"Currently, MHI is an active participant in our airplane programs and is a major program partner on the Boeing 777," said Alan Mulally, president - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "I anticipate that this relationship will extend to the new Longer Range 777-200 and -300, and we are also looking at an expanded MHI role on the 747X as we develop that program."
Boeing is expecting to greatly benefit from MHI's expertise in manufacturing and product development through exchange of ideas and by working together to enhance their leading positions in the aerospace industry added Mulally.
Boeing is NASA's prime contractor to design, develop, manufacture and assemble the Space Station. ISS is orbiting overhead - visible from Earth in the night sky. The first two modules, Zarya and Unity, were launched and assembled in orbit in late 1998. The most recent ISS assembly mission was Zvezda, the Russian Service Module, launched aboard a Russian Proton rocket July 12. ISS is scheduled to dock to Zvezda on July 26.
The first astronaut crew, Expedition One, will be brought to ISS in October for its three-month stay. The U.S. Laboratory will be launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in early 2001.