King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia has issued recognition certificates to two Vietnamese for helping Cambodia repair armored vehicles and even create a new one for the country’s military. The duo have also been awarded medals of honor for their contributions to Cambodia’s technological development.
Tran Quoc Hai, a self-taught engineer known for homemaking his own aircraft in Vietnam, and his son Tran Quoc Thanh, hailing from the southern Tay Ninh province, were awarded the military medals this October after the two helped repair damaged armored personnel carriers and even build a brand-new one for the Cambodian army.
Cambodia also certified that the father and son are professional repairmen of made-in-Soviet BRDM 2 and BTR60PB armored personnel carriers.
When Hai went to Cambodia to fix a wheat planting machine at Cambodian Army’s 70 Brigade, he saw that several armored vehicles failed to start and expressed his intention to repair them.
After receiving a nod from local authorities, Hai started to repair the BRDM 2 on a US$25,000 budget, initially sourced from his own pocket. The carrier he fixed reduces its consumption of fuel from 45 liters of diesel to 25 liters and is capable of firing from a shorter distance.
After this achievement, Hai has been assigned by the 70 Brigade to fix 10 more armored vehicles and to build brand-new ones.
After four months, Hai and his son successfully made their own armored personnel carrier. His vehicle is able to fire targets at a distance of 7m, instead of 150 meters as old ones do, and is equipped with fire power on both sides.