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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rockets’ red glare just test

Rockets’ red glare just test

1 bm21 rocket
Cambodian soldiers test fire the BM-21, a multiple rocket launcher, during training at a military base in Kampong Speu province yesterday. REUTERS

Kampong Speu
The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces yesterday completed a two-day, live-firing exercise that saw at least 1,443 soldiers firing “updated and modernised” military equipment in Kampong Speu province.
The exercise involved 10 BM-21 rocket launch vehicles, 12 130-millimetre artillery guns and 22 tanks.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Soldiers hoist BM-21 rockets during yesterday’s drill, which involved modernised, computerised systems. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A 130-millimetre artillery gun is fired in Kampong Speu during yesterday’s military drill. Photograph: Sreng Mengsrun/Phnom Penh Post

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Soldiers load rockets into a launcher during yesterday’s RCAF exercises. More than 1,400 soldiers took part in the live-firing drill. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

A military commander on-site told the Post that the weapons used were obtained from Russia, China and Ukraine.

Defence Minister Tea Banh spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the drill and said that with updated, computerised systems, the guns were able to “hit the target 100 per cent each time”.

He denied that the drill was part of the government’s “military posturing” ahead of the International Court of Justice hearings on the disputed land around the Preah Vihear temple, set to be heard in two weeks.

Lieutenant General Eth Sarath, commander of the live-fire drill, said the exercise was a routine one and had been in the works for months.

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