SEATTLE (AP) — Mitsubishi Aircraft is expanding its aviation footprint in Washington state.
The Japanese company announced this month that it has partnered with Seattle-based AeroTEC, to create an engineering hub in Seattle.
The hub will have 50 Japanese engineers working with 100 American counterparts, company officials said.
“Our aim is to make the best use of the resources and skill sets of the aircraft experience and professionals in Seattle,’’ said Hiromichi Morimoto, Mitsubishi Aircraft president.
The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is entering the commuter jet market, offering two models, the MRJ70 and MRJ90. The planes have 76 and 88 seats respectively. The company said it had 223 confirmed orders from six airlines.
The engineering hub in Seattle is just one of several spots where Mitsubishi is establishing its presence in the United States.
The company will have a testing facility in Moses Lake in central Washington as well. Those test flights are scheduled to happen in the second quarter of 2016. The company says the Moses Lake will have 200 workers total. Other testing flights will happen around the U.S.
The expansion was marked by company officials and government heads in Seattle.
Gov. Jay Inslee said Mitsubishi’s move here shows that Washington is competitive in aerospace design and manufacturing. The Seattle area has been the Boeing Company’s manufacturing center and the state Legislature gave the company a $8.7 billion in tax breaks.
“Our cultures and economies have been intertwined for more than a century and now we’re excited to build on the legacy of the MRJ,’’ Inslee said.
Washington state companies are also supplying parts for manufacturing the MRJ planes. (end)