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China's C919 jet to be equipped by Safran, GE

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BEIJING (BNS): US conglomerate General Electric (GE) and France aerospace and defence industries group Safran will provide engines for China's new C919 passenger jet under a multi-billion dollar deal, Safran declared on Monday.

China is eager to bring C919 on service in 2016, it is under construction at state-linked Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). C919 is also seen as a big competitor for Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737, according to a media report.

The deal will be signed on Monday after the official visit of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, when an initial five billion dollars will be given to Safran and GE each.

"This is a significant contract, and that its value over 30 years could total USD 15 billion, Safran chief executive Jean-Paul Herteman told reporters.

C919 will be equipped with the latest technology of Safran and GE, Leap X engines and approx 190 seats are the key attraction of the jet.

Since 1974, Safran and GE are partners and together they had operated the CFM International joint venture. Boeing and Airbus are also added in their client list.

The joint venture will also provide nacelles -- the covers housing the engines -- for the aircraft.

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