Boeing has agreed to form a joint venture (JV) with Safran to design, build and service auxiliary power units (APUs), which are used to power main engines onboard aircraft on ground and in flight.

Both companies will equally own the proposed JV, which will be based in the US.

As part of the agreement, the companies will work together on products and expanded service capabilities to benefit their customers and the aerospace industry.

Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin said: “This will represent a new step in the long-lasting and fruitful partnership between Safran and Boeing.

“Safran has contributed to prestigious international military and civil programmes, providing reliable, high-performance APU systems since 1962.

“Together we are committed to delivering advanced APUs and world-class support to our customers. This partnership will have no impact on our 2018 guidance nor on our plan to return €2.3bn cash to shareholders over 18 to 24 months.”

“Together we are committed to delivering advanced APUs and world-class support to our customers.”

Safran is already a partner of Boeing’s commercial and defence programmes, including the LEAP-1B engine programme for the 737 MAX family of aircraft.

Boeing and Safran are also partners in MATIS, a joint venture in Morocco producing wiring products for various airframe and engine companies.

Boeing Global Services president and CEO Stan Deal said: “This strategic partnership will leverage Boeing’s deep customer and airplane knowledge along with Safran’s experience in designing and producing complex propulsion assemblies to deliver expanded, innovative services solutions to our customers.”

Subject to customary conditions including regulatory and antitrust clearance, the agreement is expected to be completed by the second half of this year.

Last month, Boeing signed a memorandum of agreement with Israeli company Assembrix to collaborate on the use of secure 3D printing solutions.

Under the deal, Boeing will use Assembrix’s software to manage and protect intellectual property shared with vendors during design and manufacturing.