Birmingham-based Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has bought the testing and manufacturing equipment from Japanese firm the Yokohama Rubber Company.

Last year, Yokohama, which has a strong reputation in Japan for manufacturing radial and bias tyres, announced that it was withdrawing the Yokohama brand name from the aircraft tyre business.

Under an agreement announced on February 25, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres will acquire Yokohama’s radial and bias new tyre manufacturing and testing equipment, including an additional dynamometer that will enable the company to bring new products to market more quickly.

The move will expand Dunlop’s manufacturing capacity so that the Birmingham-based company can start making products such as radial main tyres for the Boeing 777.

Ian Edmondson, the chairman of Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, said: “Yokohama has an excellent reputation in Japan with products developed to meet a harsh operating environment.

“These include tyres for Boeing 777s that are heavily utilised on domestic services.

“By acquiring Yokohama’s equipment we are enhancing our global manufacturing capability and putting Dunlop Aircraft Tyres in a strong position to expand its comprehensive product range.

“We are aiming to have the equipment up and running in our UK manufacturing facility within a few months.

“This agreement means that Yokohama’s former aircraft tyre customers will continue to have the opportunity to benefit from bias and radial tyre products under the internationally recognised Dunlop brand name”.

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, which this year celebrates 100 years in business, has recently opened a new tyre distribution and retreading facility in China.