MOSCOW, June 07, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will play host to twelve countries in the 2014 Tank Biathlon World Championship, General Ivan Buvaltsev, the chief of the Russian armed forces' main department of combat training, said on air at the Echo of Moscow radio station on Saturday.
All of them have been provided with an opportunity to get ready for the competition and learn about all the obstacles.
“Today the reports say that twelve foreign teams will compete - traditional tank crews from Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, newcomers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Angola, Venezuela, India, Mongolia, Serbia and China,” Gen Buvaltsev said adding that “China will perform on its own combat machine.”
Other foreign crews are to compete on Russian hardware - T-72B tanks.
“These will be the states that use our tanks and we have provided six-week training for them, just for equal opportunities to all the competitors,” the general said. “They can get accustomed to the machines and exercise at a special range while the others are training at home.”
“We have created more obstacles for the crews - the longer seven-kilometre-long track, a cross slope for a vehicle’s manoeuvre and some more,” Buvaltsev said noting that infantry combat vehicles and airborne assault vehicles will compete along with the tanks in the town of Alabino, southwest off Moscow, from July 26 to August 16.
“This year a sports race is another new competition,” he said. “The crews’ ratings will be scored for each race with the highest points for the best. But only four crews will reach the finals.”
The Tank Biathlon, which is analogous to the Olympic biathlon discipline, was invented by the Russian military and the first international competition was held in August 2013 in Alabino with the participating crews from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
According to the rules of tank biathlon, crews must navigate a distance of 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) evading various obstacles, crossing rivers and bridges and shoot at a set of targets. Tanks that miss a target get a penalty lap.