updated 6/10/2004 9:26:20 AM ET 2004-06-10T13:26:20

Two state-owned Chinese manufacturers will provide parts and assembly for Boeing jets, including its next generation 7E7 Dreamliner, the U.S. aircraft maker said Thursday.

Boeing Co. signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing with China Aviation Industry Corp. I and China Aviation Industry Corp. II for a deal Boeing said was valued at several hundred million dollars.

The supplies to be made by the two Chinese companies include the rudder for the 7E7, a fuel-efficient, twin-engine jet that Chicago-based Boeing is expected to begin delivering in 2008.

“China has an important role on the 7E7 program,” said Jim Morris, senior vice president of supplier management for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement issued before the signing ceremony.

Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co., an affiliate of AVIC I based in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, is to make the rudders, the statement said.

Hafei Aviation Industry Co., an affiliate of AVIC II based in the northeastern city of Harbin, is to provide metallic and composite parts and assemblies for jets, including the 7E7.

Boeing forecasts that China will need 2,400 jetliners over the next 20 years, becoming the world’s second biggest airplane market after the United States.

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