Boeing has set up a joint venture with Russia's VSMPO-Avisma, the world's largest titanium producer, to make components for the US aviation giant's super-light Dreamliner passenger aircraft.
Boeing and the Russian titanium maker own the new company, Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM), with 50:50 stakes. It will primarily manufacture pressed titanium components, which will undergo finishing at Boeing's factory in Portland, Oregon, before assembly, VSMPO-Avisma said.
The deal, originally announced in August 2006, has been met with apprehension in the West, which fears that the leading US aircraft maker could become too dependent on a supplier effectively controlled by the Kremlin.
UBM will start working in late 2008 when Boeing completes the purchase of equipment to be installed at the Ural plant, in which Russia has invested around $5-6 million, VSMPO-Avisma said.
VSMPO-Avisma was established in July 2005. Boeing and European aircraft-making giant Airbus account for 30 per cent of the Russian company's earnings.