Rolls-Royce bidding to provide engines for China-Russia wide body jet


SHANGHAI: Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc will bid to provide engines for a new wide-body jetliner that China is developing with Russia, the China Daily newspaper reported on Saturday, citing the British engineering company.

The newspaper, citing Rolls-Royce’s chief technology officer Paul Stein, said the first round of bidding to supply the CR929 liner with engines was expected to begin in May.

Chinese state plane-maker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), which is developing the jet with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp, issued the request for a proposal to engine makers in December.

“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,” Stein was quoted as saying in Beijing.

The newspaper also said that Rolls-Royce, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind U.S. group General Electric, has been in talks about potential cooperation opportunities with Chinese firms, including aero engine manufacturers, without providing further details.

Rolls-Royce did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China has been ploughing billions of dollars into developing jets to raise its profile in global aviation and to disrupt the current Boeing Co and Airbus SE duopoly.

The company, which sent its C919 narrow-body jet on its maiden flights last year, has established a joint venture for the C929 wide-body with an aim to eventually take 10 percent of a market dominated by the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.