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Winners of Russian tank biathlon finals get gold figurines of armored vehicles

Published time: June 28, 2014 13:46

Crew of a BMD-4M armored infantry fighting vehicle of the Southern Military District during Tank Biathlon 2014 competition held at the shooting range of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Tamanskaya Division in Alabino village. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

Two crews of a tank and APC, which has won the Russian ‘Tank biathlon – 2014’ contest have been awarded with models of their battle vehicles made of gold. The miniatures were crafted at the original armored vehicles industrial plants.

The championship between the crews of Russian armored vehicles conducted at the Alabino shooting range in the Moscow region ended with a win for a tank crew from Russia’s Western Military District. A combat team from the Eastern Military won the APC crews’ contest.

The commands were awarded with challenge cups, which they will keep for a year. The tank crew winners were given gold-plated miniatures of Russia’s main battle tank - the T-72B, while the winning APC crew bagged a gold replica of the more common BTR-2. The teams get to keep their military miniatures for all time.

Crews of BMD-4M airborne fighting vehicles take part in the Tank Biathlon-2014 competitions at the Alabino training center of the Second Taman Guards Motorized Rifle Division. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

Deputy Chief Ground Forces Commander, Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Lentsov told journalists he was fully satisfied with the military skills of the tankers and mechanized infantry crews.

Tank crews of the Western and Eastern Military Districts during the Tank Biathlon 2014 competition. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

The international phase of the competition will take place at the same Alabino range on August 4-16. Crews from 12 countries, primarily the Commonwealth of Independent States, but also China and India, have applied to take part in the contest. It is expected that some crews will be competing in armored vehicles of a national design.

The tank biathlon is a new paramilitary sport and a complex test for tank crew proficiency and gunnery precision skills. The first tank biathlon competition was arranged last year.

Crews of BMD-4M armored infantry fighting vehicles during Tank Biathlon 2014 competition held at the shooting range of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Tamanskaya Division in Alabino village. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

The basic idea behind the tank contest is simple and repeats the rules of the classic biathlon: cover about 20km in the shortest time, while successfully hitting your targets using a 9mm machine gun, a 12.5mm anti-aircraft machine-gun and naturally the tank’s main gun. The targets are not static; they appear suddenly and for a limited time, emerging at various distances from 600 meters to up to 2km.

The crew of a BMD-4M airborne fighting vehicle takes part in the Tank Biathlon-2014 competitions at the Alabino training center of the Taman Motorized Rifle Division. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

There are five targets at each stage. No tank leaves the range without hitting all targets, those who missed have to cover penalty loops of 500 meters.

The crew should not only hit each one, but sometimes make an immediate decision in which consequence to hit multiple targets: the most ‘dangerous’ should be eliminated first.

This is not just a competition of armored vehicles; it’s a team game where every man contributes to the final result.

BMD-4M armored infantry fighting vehicles and T-72B tanks during Tank Biathlon 2014 competition held at the shooting range of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Tamanskaya Division in Alabino village. (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)

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