Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. will halt operations at a U.S. flight test site after its parent announced a decision in October to freeze the development of a small passenger jet, informed sources said Wednesday.
Operations at the Moses Lake Flight Test Center in Washington state will be limited to aircraft maintenance starting in April next year, the sources said.
The parent, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., has said it will forgo flight tests of the SpaceJet, Japan’s first domestically developed small passenger jet, in fiscal 2021 to 2023.
The aircraft unit has already closed two other bases in North America.
Mitsubishi Heavy will reduce its budget for the SpaceJet development project to ¥20 billion for fiscal 2021-2023 from ¥370 billion for the previous three years.
Mitsubishi Aircraft will focus on work to obtain a type certificate needed to put the SpaceJet into commercial use. It will reduce its global workforce to less than 200 from some 2,000 as of spring this year.
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