Artillery: This Is Only A Test

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February 2, 2010: The Indonesian government, in a hurry to complete testing of a new unguided rocket, had one of the RKN 200 test rockets go off course, hit a farm house, and blow off the foot of a women living there. Her husband was badly burned. The government apologized. The Indonesian government was in a hurry to complete testing, because all government departments had been ordered to quickly come up with new stuff, to show that the newly elected (three months ago)  government was making a difference.

The RKN 200 rocket was not high tech. In fact, it appears to be a locally made clone of the Russian BM-21. This 150 pound, 122mm Russian designed weapon is three meters (nine feet) long and has a range of 20 kilometers and a 45 pound warhead. Developed in the late 1930s, the 122mm rocket is normally fired in large numbers from many launchers at spread-out targets. That's because the rockets are unguided. Aim lots of them at a target and you'll hit something. Aim a few of them at something, and you usually won't, But the rockets are made by many countries, are relatively easy to get, and favored by terrorists for attacks that terrorize, rather than actually do any damage. Many countries make their own version of the BM-21, because the tech is simple, and it's cheaper than importing foreign made rockets.

 

 


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