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Aerospace & Defense Industries

How Mitsubishi Heavy's hubris brought SpaceJet down to earth

Delay-plagued $10bn project offers cautionary tale about national pride

The SpaceJet project was intended to propel Japan to the top of the aerospace value chain. (Photo from Mitsubishi Aircraft's Twitter account)

TOKYO -- After sinking 12 years and more than 1 trillion yen ($9.55 billion) into the SpaceJet, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has decided to suspend its project to build Japan's first homegrown passenger plane in decades.

The program launched to fanfare as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet back in 2008 as part of a national campaign to take Japan's aerospace industry to the next level, supported by the public and private sectors alike. The government provided about 50 billion yen in aid.

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