Tajik tank crews fail to reach semi-finals in in the Tank Biathlon World Championship 2016

08/08/2016 11:13
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, August 8, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajik top tank crews participating in the Tank Biathlon World Championship 2016 have failed to reach semi-finals, according to the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD).

Out of 54 tank crews participating in the competition, 12 have reached the semi-finals that will take place from August 9 to August 11.

Tank crews from Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Serbia have reached the semi-finals, an official source at a MoD told Asia-Plus in an interview.

This year, tank crews from Azerbaijan, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Egypt, Zimbabwe, India, Iran, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Serbia and Tajikistan have participated in the Tank Biathlon World Championship in Russia.

A Tank biathlon is a mechanized military sport developed by the Russian Military with some similarities to the sport of biathlon.  It is supposed to utilize the complex training of tank crews including their rough terrain passing skills combined with the ability to provide accurate and rapid fire while performing maneuvers.

Partaking tanks drive a three-lap route of 6–10 km. During the first lap, crews fire at targets positioned at distances of 1,800, 1,700 and 1,500 m.  In the second lap, different targets imitating an anti-tank mortar (RPG) squad and an infantry unit are fired upon.  These targets are at a distance of 600–700 m, and must be engaged with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.  In the third lap the tank crews targets a target shaped like an anti-tank gun and ATGM unit by use of the turret-mounted heavy machine gun at a distance of 1,200 m.  One or more misses leads to an extra penalty lap of 500 m long.  On the final lap tanks have to go through various terrain obstacles; an obstacle missed or improperly traversed adds 10 seconds to the crew's final timing.

The 1st Tank Biathlon World Championship took place at the Alabino proving ground on August 4-16, 2014.  Out of 41 nations that received invitation to the tournament, 12 sent their representatives.  Every competitor (except Teams China and Russia) received a T-72B tank in the biathlon color scheme. Team Russia piloted the newest modification, T-72B3, and Team China brought their own Type 96A.

Russian preliminaries for the event ran in several of Military districts of Russia.  Each district sent its top crews to compete for the Cup of Russia, and 3 finalists from that event formed the national Team Russia for the World Championship.

Participating nations also held preliminaries on their own, sending 3 top crews and a reserve crew accompanied by maintenance and repair personnel to Russia.

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