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Armenia wins tank at World Tank Biathlon Championship in Russia

ALABINO, August 16, /ITAR-TASS/. Armenia won a tank at the World Tank Biathlon Championship that just concluded outside Moscow, the organising committee said on Saturday.

Armenia was second in the newly introduced global military sporting event and was awarded a certificate for a new T-90 tank.

The championship was held on August 4-16 at the Alabino firing range outside Moscow, with international tank crews from 12 countries competing in driving and shooting proficiency. Angola, Armenia, Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, and Venezuela took part in the competitions. And more than 20 countries had sent in their observers.

Russia came in first after the final round of competitions, Armenia was second, and China third.

All international crews were provided with Russia’s T-72B tanks, or Slingshot, according to NATO classification, while China brought their own tanks for the championship.

General Ivan Buvaltsev, the chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ Main Department of Combat Training, said earlier that Russia had offered a six-week training course to foreign tank crews who intended to compete on Russian combat vehicles “just for equal opportunities for all the competitors.”

He also said that that this year infantry combat vehicles and airborne assault vehicles would compete along with the tanks.

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, a town to the southwest of Moscow, with the participating crews from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

According to the rules of tank biathlon, crews must navigate a distance of up to 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) negotiating various obstacles, crossing rivers and bridges and shooting at a set of targets. Tanks that miss a target get a penalty lap.