A point is all that you can scooooooore.
CAMBODIA successfully test-fired 200 rockets in Kampong Chhnang province on Thursday in what officials said was a routine exercise, but which some observers said was an orchestrated display of military might. Minister of Defence Tea Banh, who oversaw the launch at a Kampong Chhnang airfield, said the event was designed to test the quality of the weapons and give troops practice in using them. The rockets were fired from BM-21 launchers, which military experts say are designed to suppress infantry.
“We tested them successfully, and all 200 rockets were shot to the right location,” Tea Banh told reporters after the launch. “There is no doubt, because what we are doing is showing our ability to defend the nation from any encroachment.”
The exercise began at 8am, with the rockets launched into the sky leaving billowing smoke as troops of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) stood by. Rockets were fired from launchers mounted on 15 trucks – 10 of which were given by the Soviet Union and five by China in the 1980s, said Phat Sopheap, an RCAF solider who completed a 90-day training course to prepare for the exercise.
Speaking in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen deemed the exercise a resounding success.
“There were no technical errors, and no danger occurred. Within half an hour, all 15 trucks had discharged their rockets,” Hun Sen said at a ceremony celebrating International Women’s Day at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. “This is not to flex our military muscle – it is a typical exercise to prepare the military to defend the nation from any incursion.”
Though plans originally called for just 10 trucks’ worth of rockets to be fired 17 kilometres, Hun Sen said he later decided to launch 15 trucks’ worth of rockets to their maximum range of 40 kilometres. He dismissed speculation that the launch was meant to intimidate neighbouring Thailand, with which diplomatic relations are currently strained.
“Even if we didn’t have a dispute, now is the time to test them,” Hun Sen said, adding that local residents had to take care to avoid the target area until military officials deemed it safe.