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Mitsubishi to turn MRJ into cheaper, smaller 'Space Jet'

Project centers on redesigned 70-seat model, with US production on the table

The smaller version of the rebranded Space Jet will help ensure access to the U.S., the world's largest aviation market. (Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Aircraft)

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is revamping its long-delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet project to concentrate on a smaller model for the U.S. market -- and dropping its own name from the aircraft to reflect a more global vision for a previously Japan-centric business.

Development subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to offer an outline of the reworked project, the Space Jet, in June. This will entail a drastic redesign to create the smaller 70-seat-class model, with work to get underway in earnest as early as this year.

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