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02 Jun 14. Spain’s Expal opens demilitarisation plant in Belarus. Spanish company Expal has opened a demilitarisation plant in Belarus, initially to destroy a stockpile of 3.4 million anti-personnel PFM-1 type mines. The mobile plant is expected to take around 20 months on this initial project. After that it “could be switched to working on other armaments or moved to another site”, perhaps in another country, a company spokesperson told IHS Jane’s on 2 June. Based on a connecting system of container unit design, at its heart is an 89 cubic metre detonation chamber. The plant has been initially installed near the town of Rechitsa. Expal said the project had been “totally funded by the European Union”, although declined to say how much it has cost. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Jun 14. Boeing opened a new research and technology center to work with leading Brazilian researchers and scientists to develop aerospace technologies. The new Boeing Research &Technology-Brazil (BR&T-Brazil) center is focused on sustainable aviation biofuel development, advanced air traffic management, remote sensing, advanced metals and bio-materials, and support and services technologies. The center is located in the São José dos Campos Technology Park. The center’s staff will initially conduct and coordinate ongoing projects with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and University of Sao Paulo (USP), companies such as Embraer and Brazil’s Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) and National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The new facility is Boeing’s sixth advanced research center outside of the United States, joining centers in Europe, Australia, India, China and Russia. (Source: ASD Network)

05 Jun 14. Iraqi F-16s to Be Based Out of Balad. Nearly three years after the last US troops left Iraq, F-16s are returning to Balad, this time, they will be the vanguard of the Iraqi air force. Balad was a major US base during the war and one of the busiest airfields in the world at one point. Now the US government is helping the Iraqis make sure the base will be ready for the first batch of F-16s, which are expected to be delivered in September, said Lukman Faily, Iraqi ambassador to the US. On Thursday, the Iraqi government took ownership of the first of 36 F-16s fighters that will be delivered between September and the fall of 2017. The fighters will allow Iraq to secure its border with Syria, attack al-Qaida bases in western Iraq, including Ramadi, and intercept any planes transiting its airspace that it wants to inspect, Faily told Military Times on Thursday. US officials have pressed the Iraqi government to stop Iran from using Iraqi airspace to fly weapons and other supplies to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria. (Source: Defense News)

04 Jun 14. On the occasion of a visit to Hong Kong by Jean-Bernard Lévy,
Chairman and CEO, and Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice
President for International Development, Thales announces the opening of an Innovation Hub in Hong Kong and the signing of a partnership with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Both these initiatives support Thales’s activities in the security and transport domains so as to serve the development of smart cities in Asia. A true incubator of ideas for academic, government and industry representatives, the Innovation Hub will focus on the concept of Smart Cities, working specifically in the transport and security domains. In transportation, the Hub will support projects in the areas of urban transport data analysis, decision support and the optimisation of operations. With regards to security, the Innovation Hub will principally focus on intelligent surveillance systems. The teams will work on fusing real-time and historical video data with information from monitoring systems. The innovation Hub will also be a way for Thales to cooperate closely with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (

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