There is increasing concern about China’s growing military influence over neighboring Cambodia, with potential Chinese military presence at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base and as well as a regular stream of weapons and military equipment sent to the country from China.
Recent satellite imagery indicates that the naval base is being prepared for an HQ-surface-to-air missile (SAM) battery, as per a report by news wire agency ANI. The possibility of this was first raised by Tom Shugart, an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Centre for a New American Security.
He had noted that a road along the eastern edge of the base features a number of paved pads or enlargements cut out of the jungle. The design of the road with multiple 10-12 laybys closely resembles an installation built by the PLA to protect Yalong Naval Base on Hainan Island in 2016, Shugart noted. The area now accommodates HQ-9 SAM battery with missile launcher vehicles and radars.