03 April 2013

Cambodia Conducts Live Artillery Drill to Strengthen Military Capacity

03 April 2013

Live artillery drill with rocket and field howitzer (all photos : Xinhua)

Cambodia on Tuesday conducted a live fire drill in order to strengthen capacity for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in defending territory integrity.

"BM-21 rocket launchers and 130-mm artillery were fired during the exercise," Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tea Banh said while presiding over the drill at a military exercise field in Kampong Speu province, about 70 km west of Phnom Penh.

"The exercise is to test our new weapon technologies."

The drill was attended by some 1,450 soldiers. About 98 BM-21 shells and 24 artillery shells were fired.

"Our troops have successfully completed the drill, all shells hit the targets," he told reporters after the event.

Lt. Gen. Eth Sarath, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said the fire was classified into two phases: the fire of BM-21 rockets in the distance of 16 km and the fire of 130-mm artillery.

"The exercise is to show national prestige, not to threaten any countries," he said, adding that the drill was made after the troops had been trained for four months.

It was the second time that Cambodia conducted the live fire drill with BM-21 rockets. The first such exercise took place in March 2010, when 215 shells were fired and all hit the target in the distance between 20 km and 40 km.

Cambodia started to strengthen defense capacity since it has territorial dispute with Thailand in 2008. The dispute had triggered several deadly armed clashes between troops of the two countries.

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