In­dian Army Team with T90 Tanks Par­tic­i­pate in Tank Biathlon 2017 in Rus­sia

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THE TANK BIATHLON COM­MENCED with the open­ing cer­e­mony of In­ter­na­tional Army Games at Alabino Ranges, Rus­sia on July 29, 2017. Nine­teen na­tions with three crews each are com­pet­ing with each other in the Stage I in­di­vid­ual races to qual­ify for the Stage II which will be a re­lay race. Top twelve teams will be se­lected for Stage II re­lay race out of which top four teams will qual­ify for the final stage re­lay race sched­uled on Au­gust 12, 2017.

Presently, one crew each of all na­tions has par­tic­i­pated in the first two days of the com­pe­ti­tion wherein the In­dian crew’s race was con­ducted on the July 30, 2017. The in­di­vid­ual race of bal­ance two In­dian crews is sched­uled on Au­gust 4-6, 2017. The top twelve teams for stage II will be se­lected on the ba­sis of least ag­gre­gate time of all three crews.

The Tank Biathlon com­pe­ti­tion is an in­ter­na­tional event con­ducted as part of the In­ter­na­tional Army Games held ev­ery year since 2013 at Alabino Ranges, Rus- sia. In­ter­na­tional Army Games in­volve 28 events or­gan­ised in five Coun­tries i.e. Rus­sia, Be­larus, Azer­bai­jan, Kaza­khstan and China. The In­dian Army team has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion for the past three years since 2014. The team stood 6th in the pre­vi­ous year out of the 17 coun- tries which par­tic­i­pated in the event in July 2016. This year, for the first time, the team would be par­tic­i­pat­ing with their own T-90 tanks which have been shipped to Rus­sia.

A to­tal of 19 coun­tries in­clud­ing China, Rus­sia, Kaza­khstan, Mon­go­lia, Is­rael and South Africa will show­case their prow­ess, skills and en­durance on the tanks in this pres­ti­gious event this year. The com­pe­ti­tion in­volves firing by tanks on the move by con­ven­tional ma­chine guns and anti tank pro­jec­tiles at a range of 2 km, whilst ne­go­ti­at­ing rugged ob­sta­cles. The com­pe­ti­tion sim­u­lates actual bat­tle field con­di­tions in­volv­ing driv­ing at high speed and en­tails switch­ing from one mode of op­er­a­tion to an­other at a fast pace which re­quires men­tal mo­bil­ity and ex­cep­tional level of phys­i­cal fit­ness and train­ing.

The team has been se­lected through a rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process on the ba­sis of tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise, phys­i­cal fit­ness, men­tal en­durance and con­sis­tency in ac­cu­racy of firing the tank weapons while driv­ing the tanks through a replica of the orig­i­nal cir­cuit in Rus­sia, at Babina Field Firing Ranges in cen­tral In­dia. The tanks were trans­ported to Rus­sia by sea and the team moved to Rus­sia on July 20, 2017, for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion from July 29, to Au­gust 12, 2017.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Army

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