Japan aims to cut costs in H-IIA project

13 Sep 2006

(Asia Pulse Businesswire via NewsEdge) Following the successful launch of the H-IIA, the main focus of the H-IIA rocket project will now shift to cost reduction.

The 10th liftoff of the H-IIA has put the success rate for Japan's major launch vehicle at 90%, comparable to the levels at its US and European rivals.

But at an estimated 10 billion yen ($85.9 million), the cost of launching the H-IIA, is still far higher than the 6-7 billion yen ($51 million-$59.5 million) at Arianespace and Lockheed Martin Corp.

With the H-IIA launch service due to be privatized next year with the transfer of operations to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., reducing costs is essential to winning commercial satellite launch orders and ensuring the survival of the service.

As a part of the cost-cutting efforts, Mitsubishi Heavy, which is also responsible for the construction of the H-IIA, aims to cut assembly and check-up time at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture from the current 30 days to 20 days in fiscal 2007 or later.

In addition, sharing parts with Japan's launch vehicle for scientific satellites has been proposed to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

© 2006 Asia Pulse Pte Ltd

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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